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Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits

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  • Besley, Timothy
  • Case, Anne

Abstract

This paper analyzes the behavior of U.S. governors from 1950 to 1986 to investigate a reputation-building model of political behavior. The authors argue that differences in the behavior of governors who face a binding term limit and those who are able to run again provides a source of variation in discount rates that can be used to test a political agency model. They find evidence that taxes, spending, and other policy instruments respond to a binding term limit if a Democrat is in office. The result is a fiscal cycle in term-limit states that lowers state income when the term limit binds. Copyright 1995, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 110 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 769-98

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:769-98

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  13. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
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