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Do Elections Always Motivate Incumbents?

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  • le Borgne, E.
  • Lockwood, B.

Abstract

This paper studies a principal-agent model of the relationship between office-holders and the electorate, where the office-holder is initially uninformed about herability (following Holmström, 1999). If office-holder effort and ability interact in the "production function" that determines performance in office, then an office-holder has an incentive to experiment, i.e. raise effort so that performance becomes a more accurate signal of her ability.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp580.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 580.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:580

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Keywords: ELECTIONS ; BUSINESS CYCLES ; PRODUCTION;

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References

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  1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  2. Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 1999. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 475-507, July.
  3. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mirman, Leonard J & Samuelson, Larry & Urbano, Amparo, 1993. "Monopoly Experimentation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 549-63, August.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Prescott, Edward C, 1972. "The Multi-Period Control Problem Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1043-58, November.
  7. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers, Penn Economics Department ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  8. Dhillon, Amrita & Lockwood, Ben, 2004. "When are plurality rule voting games dominance-solvable?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 55-75, January.
  9. Biglaiser, Gary & Mezzetti, Claudio, 1997. "Politicians' decision making with re-election concerns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 425-447, December.
  10. Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217, January.
  11. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1993. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," NBER Working Papers 4575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  13. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  14. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  15. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  17. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  20. Grossman, Sanford J & Kihlstrom, Richard E & Mirman, Leonard J, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to the Production of Information and Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 533-47, October.
  21. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  22. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Baleiras, Rui Nuno & da Silva Costa, Jose, 2004. "To be or not to be in office again: an empirical test of a local political business cycle rationale," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 655-671, September.
  2. Otto Swank & Bauke Visser, 2006. "Do elections lead to informed public decisions?," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 435-460, December.
  3. Eric Borgne & Ben Lockwood, 2006. "Do Elections Always Motivate Incumbents? Learning vs. Re-Election Concerns," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 41-60, October.
  4. Ben Lockwood & Eric Le Borgne, 2003. "Do Elections Always Motivate Incumbents? Experimentation vs. Career Concerns," IMF Working Papers 03/57, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Phongthorn Wrasai, 2005. "Politicians' Motivation, Role of Elections, and Policy Choices," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-050/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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