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Term Limits and Electoral Competitiveness: Evidence from California's State Legislative Races

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  • Daniel, Kermit
  • Lott, John R, Jr

Abstract

California's legislative term limits have dramatically reduced campaign expenditures. Real expenditures during the three general elections after the term limits initiative passed in 1990 were lower than in even 1976. This drop has occurred at the same time that races have become closer contests and more candidates are running for office. By any measure, term limits have coincided with large changes in the level of political competition, even before term limits have forcibly removed a single politician from office. The changes are so large that more incumbents are being defeated, races are closer, more candidates are running, and fewer single candidate races than occur at any other time during the authors' sample period from 1976 to 1994. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel, Kermit & Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Term Limits and Electoral Competitiveness: Evidence from California's State Legislative Races," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 90(1-4), pages 165-184, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:90:y:1997:i:1-4:p:165-84
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    Cited by:

    1. Jürgen Huber & Michael Kirchler, 2013. "Corporate campaign contributions and abnormal stock returns after presidential elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 285-307, July.
    2. Smart, Michael & Sturm, Daniel M., 2013. "Term limits and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 93-102.
    3. Terra, Rafael & Mattos, Enlinson, 2017. "Accountability and yardstick competition in the public provision of education," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 15-30.
    4. DeBacker, Jason, 2011. "The price of pork: The seniority trap in the U.S. House," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 63-78.
    5. Schelker, Mark, 2018. "Lame ducks and divided government: How voters control the unaccountable," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 131-144.
    6. Thomas Stratmann, 2003. "Tainted Money? Contribution Limits and the Effectiveness of Campaign Spending," CESifo Working Paper Series 1044, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. John Lott, 2006. "Campaign finance reform and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 263-300, December.
    8. Kroszner, Randall S & Stratmann, Thomas, 2005. "Corporate Campaign Contributions, Repeat Giving, and the Rewards to Legislator Reputation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 41-71, April.
    9. Randall S. Kroszner & Thomas Stratmann, 1999. "Does Political Ambiguity Pay? Corporate Campaign contributions and the Rewards to Legislator Reputation," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 155, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    10. Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2015. "Lame but loyal ducks," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 254, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. Mark Schelker, 2009. "Auditor Terms and Term Limits in the Public Sector: Evidence from the US States," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    12. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1824-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Bernhardt, Dan & Dubey, Sangita & Hughson, Eric, 2004. "Term limits and pork barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2383-2422, December.

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