Do Elections Always Motivate Incumbents? Learning versus Re-election Concerns
AbstractThis Paper studies a principal-agent model of the relationship between officeholder and an electorate, where everyone is initially uninformed about the officeholder’s ability. If office-holder effort and ability interact in the determination of performance in office, then an office-holder has an incentive to learn, i.e., raise effort so that performance becomes a more accurate signal of their ability. Elections reduce the learning effect, and the reduction in this effect may more than offset the positive ‘re-election concerns’ effect of elections on effort, implying higher effort with appointment. When this occurs, appointment of officials may welfare-dominate elections.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4664.
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
- J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
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