The Heinz I. Eulau Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor the best article published in the APSA journal, American Political Science Review.
George Kwaku Ofosu (Ph.D. 2017, UCLA) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on political representation and accountability, election integrity, legislator behavior, and the promotion of the quality of democracy, with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.
Citation from the Award Committee:
In “Do Fairer Elections Increase the Responsiveness of Politicians?” George Kwaku Ofosu combines careful theoretical argumentation with novel experimental designs to examine whether high-quality elections increase political responsiveness. Within the context of Ghana, he shows that when elections are monitored and thus become fairer, politicians cannot win elections through outright manipulation. This, in turn, incentivizes candidates to invest resources into meeting the needs and gaining the support of their constituents. Ofosu analyses 2,160 months of Constituency Development Fund spending of Ghanaian legislators by randomly assigning election-day monitoring during Ghana’s 2012 elections. The sophisticated experiment-in-the-field design enables him to draw causal conclusions for Ghanaian politicians. He carefully discusses external validity and generalizability of his findings. The selection committee deemed this a very impressive and worthy article that combines careful theoretical work, with a sophisticated research design that allows causal inference, and extensive data collection. The article generates important and interesting academic results that are at the core of political science but also have real world implications and offer relevant policy recommendations.
APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Vera Eva Troeger (chair), University of Hamburg; Samara Klar, University of Arizona; and Yonatan Lupu, The George Washington University.