The Bright Side of the Economic Crisis: The Attribution of Political Responsibilities in Hard Times
We examine the impact of the current economic crisis on the accuracy of responsibility attribution between levels of government within States. Using individual-level data from Spain, we show that learning about responsibility attribution depends on the saliency of the issue (in our study, unemployment) and economic self-interest. The (unintended) positive consequence of economic crisis is that citizens are now more able to accurately attribute the responsibility for political decisions than some years ago. Learning is particularly significant among those individuals more affected by the economic crisis.