A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability
56 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 2016
This paper proposes a structural approach to measuring the effects of electoral accountability. We estimate a political agency model with imperfect information in order to identify and quantify discipline and selection effects, using data on U.S. governors. We find that the possibility of reelection provides a significant incentive for incumbents to exert effort, that is, a disciplining effect. We also find a positive but weaker selection effect. According to our model, the widely-used two-term regime improves voter welfare by 4:2% compared to a one-term regime.
Keywords: discipline, elections, maximum likelihood, political agency, selection, structural estimation
JEL Classification: C57, D72, D73, H70
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