Title

Efficiency Over Generosity? Evidence of Electoral Accountability from Typhoon Dayoff in Taiwan

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-23-2020

Publication Title

Asian Journal of Political Science

First page number:

1

Last page number:

15

Abstract

Even though voters may irrationally blame the incumbent for natural disasters, democratic accountability can still hold if voters also reward the government for good responses. This article approaches the response-reward question by exploring the election impact of typhoon dayoff decisions in Taiwan. County mayors are responsible for deciding the dayoffs before a typhoon, so voters can easily and immediately observe the quality of the mayor's decision and fully attribute the outcome to him. Results combining 2005–2014 weather, election, and ten survey datasets show that a correct dayoff, which a dayoff was announced and the storm was tomorrow is harmfully strong, can significantly increase the incumbent's vote share. The effect is larger in the election year. Meanwhile, Taiwanese voters also slightly reward the incumbent for a bonus dayoff, which the storm is unexpectedly weak. Evidence also shows that mayors exploit the incumbent advantage by announcing more correct and bonus dayoffs.

Keywords

Retrospective Voting; Accountability; Natural Disaster; Taiwan Politics

Disciplines

Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Language

English

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