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Estimating Incumbency Effects In U.S. State Legislatures: A Quasi-Experimental Study

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  • YOGESH UPPAL

Abstract

This paper estimates the incumbency effects in elections to the House of Representatives of 45 states in the United States using a quasi-experimental research method, regression discontinuity design (RDD). This design isolates the causal effect of incumbency from other contemporaneous factors, such as candidate quality, by comparing incumbents and non-incumbents in close contests. I find that incumbents in state legislative elections have a significant advantage, and this advantage serves as a strong barrier to re-entry of challengers who had previously been defeated. However, the incumbency advantage estimated using the RDD is much smaller than are the estimates using existing methods, implying a significant selection bias in the latter. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (07)
Pages: 180-199

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:22:y:2010:i:2:p:180-199

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0954-1985

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Cited by:
  1. Tuvana Pastine & Ivan Pastine & Matthew T. Cole, 2013. "Incumbency Advantage in an Electoral Contest," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n242-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  2. Yogesh Uppal, 2011. "Does legislative turnover adversely affect state expenditure policy? Evidence from Indian state elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 189-207, April.
  3. Paul Redmond & John Regan, 2013. "Incumbency Advantage in Irish Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n241-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  4. Christopher Duquette & Franklin Mixon & Richard Cebula, 2013. "The Impact of Legislative Tenure and Seniority on General Election Success: Econometric Evidence from U.S. House Races," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(2), pages 161-172, June.
  5. John Gilbert & Reza Oladi, 2011. "Net Campaign Contributions, Agricultural Interests, and Votes on Liberalizing Trade with China," Working Papers 201102, Utah State University, Department of Economics and Finance.

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