G. Rosas, “Trust in Elections and the Institutional Design of Electoral Authorities: Evidence from Latin America”, Electoral Studies, 29 (1), 2010.
It is often assumed that the institutional organization of electoral management bodies (EMB) has an impact on the credibility of elections, but this proposition has been difficult to verify empirically. I examine whether the degree of autonomy from the political process of EMB administrators affects attitudes towards elections among citizens and legislators by analyzing mass and elite surveys across Latin America. I conclude that levels of confidence in the electoral process among political elites are higher in countries with politically autonomous EMBs, but this effect is muted in the analysis of citizen attitudes. This association holds after controlling for individual-level determinants of trust in elections and for other relevant country-level predictors in multilevel statistical models.