Self-imposed term limits
In “Reconciling voters' behavior with legislative term limits,” Dick and Lott argue that since more senior representatives are better at rent-seeking, there is an inefficient tendency to re-elect incumbents. In their model, term limits are preferred collectively by constituencies, even though no constituency would independently oust its incumbent representative. However, many term limits are unilaterally self-imposed (in particular the 22nd amendment limiting presidents' terms to two), and their model cannot explain these limits. In this comment, I suggest that term limits may be self-imposed by risk-averse voters, who prefer cycling between left and right wing candidates to a once-and-for-all election that imposes a candidate of a single ideology on the entre electorate. The market failure that makes term limits helpful is that out of power minorities cannot bribe the median voter. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997
Volume (Year): 93 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
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