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The disadvantage of winning an election

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to popular initiatives or policy proposals coming from different sources. We argue that this potential source of electoral disadvantage that the incumbent obtains after being elected can jeopardize the reelection possibilities of the incumbent. We analyze the decision of the incumbent when facing reelection and we characterize the conditions under which the advantages that the incumbent obtains can overcome the disadvantages. Finally, we use the results of this analysis to discuss some implications of the use of mechanisms of direct democracy like referenda and popular assemblies on electoral competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 194.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:194

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Keywords: Incumbency advantage; Referenda; Popular initiatives; Elections.;

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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Matthew F. Mitchell & Andrea Moro, 2004. "Why Do Incumbent Senators Win? Evidence from a Dynamic Selection Model," NBER Working Papers 10748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Sánchez-Pagés, Santiago, 2009. "A theory of participatory democracy based on the real case of Porto Alegre," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 56-72, January.
  4. Hanna Ågren & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2007. "Do politicians’ preferences correspond to those of the voters? An investigation of political representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 137-162, January.
  5. Carmen Bevia & Humberto Llavador, 2006. "The Informational Value of Incumbency," Working Papers 276, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Helios Herrera & Andrea Mattozzi, 2010. "Quorum and Turnout in Referenda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 838-871, 06.
  7. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2011. "Referenda as a Catch-22," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 121-138, June.
  8. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The disadvantage of being incumbent
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-04-12 17:20:00
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Cited by:
  1. Enriqueta Aragonès & Micael Castanheira & Marco Giani, 2012. "Electoral Competition through Issue Selection," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 903.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).

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