SIG Lecture: Do we want local officials with higher political ambitions? (link)
|Date:||Thursday, May 3rd|
|Time:||11:10 am-12:00 pm|
Politics Professor Hans Hassell presents the Science Interest Group lecture "Do we want local officials with higher political ambitions?" Does political ambition affect how public officials represent and respond to their constituents? While political science theory has long reasoned that representatives are responsive to constituents because they are interested in obtaining re-election and advancing their political careers, to our knowledge whether ambition affects constituent services has not been directly tested. In this research, I and my co-authors present our findings from a field experiment where local public officials receive both an electorally related service request and a generic service request. We combine these responses with data from a survey that these public officials had previously taken about their political ambition in seeking higher office. We find that politically ambitious officials are more responsive to electorally oriented service requests. We provide greater insight into how the political ambition of democratically elected representatives affects the job that these representatives do and the services they perform for their constituents.