Abstract

This paper provides a new empirical test of the common sense proposition that a better informed electorate helps producing greater collective welfare. The innovation lies in an arguably more adequate measurement of both the independent and the dependent variable than those found in previous studies. The data come from the cross-national post-election surveys of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) project plusWorld Bank data on the quality of governance across the globe. The findings show some significant effects of citizens ability to emulate fully informed choices on the quality of governance after the elections in question. However, the effect only materializes over multiple elections, and may not extend to all aspects of good governance.