Democracy's Achilles Heel or, How to Win an Election without Really Trying
AbstractIn this paper we investigate the efficacy of illicit electoral tactics and the characteristics which make a society prone to such tactics.� We first investigate the chances of an incumbent head of government winning an election.� We find that in those elections in which illicit tactics were prevalent the chances of incumbent victory increase substantially, more than doubling the expected duration in office.� Further, illicit tactics sharply reduce the importance of good economic performance for survival in office.� We then investigate what makes a society prone to illicit electoral tactics.� Both structural conditions and institutions matter.� Societies that are small, low-income, and resource-rich have little chance of a clean election unless these conditions are offset by checks and balances such as veto points and a free press.� Aid has offsetting effects, the net effect being modest.� We show that these results are robust to different measures of the conduct of elections and to fixed effects.� Finally, we revisit the Jones-Olken result that individual leaders matter for economic performance and find that it holds only where leaders are not disciplined by well-conducted elections.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number CSAE WPS/2009-08.
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
- Chauvet, Lisa & Collier, Paul, 2009. "Elections and Economic Policy in Developing Countries," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4315, Paris Dauphine University.
- Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2006.
"Political foundations of the resource curse,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 447-468, April.
- James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Politcal Foundations of the Resource Curse," DELTA Working Papers 2003-33, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Robinson, James A & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Political Foundations of the Resource Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 3422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Andrew Leigh, 2004.
"Does the World Economy Swing National Elections?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
485, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Sidman, Andrew H. & Mak, Maxwell & Lebo, Matthew J., 2008. "Forecasting non-incumbent presidential elections: Lessons learned from the 2000 election," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 237-258.
- Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Does foreign aid corrupt?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 99-106, April.
- Campbell, James E. & Lewis-Beck, Michael S., 2008. "US presidential election forecasting: An introduction," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 189-192.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Caroline Wise).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.