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Endogenous Election Timing In Majoritarian Parliamentary Systems

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  • Alastair Smith

Abstract

The election date is an endogenous choice in many parliamentary systems. This paper explores when governments call elections and how the timing of an election influences the electoral result. Governments have an incentive to behave opportunistically, calling elections at a time when they are performing well. However, the choice of election date reveals information about the government. Specifically, early elections indicate that a government has little faith in its ability to perform well in the future. The analysis is expanded to consider changes in government composition, political business cycles, informational asymmetries and the role of opposition campaigning. Copyright 1996 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Alastair Smith, 1996. "Endogenous Election Timing In Majoritarian Parliamentary Systems ," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 85-110, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:8:y:1996:i:2:p:85-110
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0343.1996.tb00123.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    2. Cargill, Thomas F & Hutchison, Michael M, 1991. "Political Business Cycles with Endogenous Election Timing: Evidence from Japan," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 733-739, November.
    3. Ito, Takatoshi, 1991. "International impacts on domestic political economy: a case of Japanese general elections," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages 73-89, March.
    4. Ito, Takatoshi & Park, Jin Hyuk, 1988. "Political business cycles in the parliamentary system," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 233-238.
    5. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    6. Ito, Takatoshi, 1990. "The timing of elections and political business cycles in Japan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 135-156.
    7. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    8. Chappell, D. & Peel, D. A., 1979. "On the political theory of the business cycle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 327-332.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:76:y:1982:i:04:p:753-766_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-661, May.
    11. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    12. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    13. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
    2. Jussi Keppo & Lones Smith & Dmitry Davydov, 2006. "Optimal Electoral Timing: Exercise Wisely and You May Live Longer," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1565, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. repec:kap:copoec:v:28:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10602-017-9237-y is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Voia, Marcel-Cristian & Ferris, J. Stephen, 2013. "Do business cycle peaks predict election calls in Canada?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 102-118.
    5. Lesmono, Dharma & Tonkes, Elliot & Burrage, Kevin, 2009. "Opportunistic timing and manipulation in Australian Federal Elections," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 192(2), pages 677-691, January.
    6. Fouad Pervez, 2015. "Waiting for election season," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 265-303, June.
    7. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    8. Felix Bierbrauer & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2008. "Winners and Losers of Early Elections: On the Welfare Implications of Political Blockades and Early Elections," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_50, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    9. J. Stephen Ferris & Derek E. H. Olmstead, 2012. "Fixed versus Flexible Election Cycles: Explaining innovation in the timing of Canada’s Election Cycle," Carleton Economic Papers 12-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Dec 2016.
    10. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:kap:copoec:v:28:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10602-017-9241-2 is not listed on IDEAS

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