IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/red/issued/06-91.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Electoral Design and Voter Welfare from the U.S. Senate: Evidence from a Dynamic Selection Model

Author

Listed:
  • Gautam Gowrisankaran

    (University of Arizona)

  • Matthew F. Mitchell

    (University of Toronto)

  • Andrea Moro

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Abstract

Since 1914, the U.S. Senate has been elected and incumbent senators allowed to run for reelection without limit. This differs from several other elected offices in the U.S., which impose term limits on incumbents. Term limits may harm the electorate if tenure is beneficial or if they force high quality candidates to retire but may also benefit the electorate if they cause higher quality candidates to run. We investigate how changes in electoral design affect voter utility by specifying and structurally estimating a dynamic model of voter decisions. We find that tenure effects for the U.S. Senate are negative or small and that incumbents face weaker challengers than candidates running for open seats. Because of this, term limits can significantly increase voter welfare. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Gautam Gowrisankaran & Matthew F. Mitchell & Andrea Moro, 2008. "Electoral Design and Voter Welfare from the U.S. Senate: Evidence from a Dynamic Selection Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 1-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-91
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2007.04.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2007.04.005
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
    2. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    3. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 347-373, March.
    4. Thierry Magnac & David Thesmar, 2002. "Identifying Dynamic Discrete Decision Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 801-816, March.
    5. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Matthew F. Mitchell & Andrea Moro, 2004. "Why Do Incumbent Senators Win? Evidence from a Dynamic Selection Model," NBER Working Papers 10748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Goffe, William L & Ferrier, Gary D & Rogers, John, 1992. "Simulated Annealing: An Initial Application in Econometrics," Computer Science in Economics & Management, Kluwer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 5(2), pages 133-146, May.
    7. Smart, Michael & Sturm, Daniel M., 2013. "Term limits and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 93-102.
    8. Cox, Gary W. & Katz, Jonathan N., 1995. "Why Did The Incumbency Advantage In U.S. House Elections Grow?," Working Papers 939, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:04:p:859-874_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 587-611, August.
    2. Jason Matthew DeBacker, 2015. "Flip-Flopping: Ideological Adjustment Costs In The United States Senate," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 108-128, January.
    3. Enriqueta Aragonès & Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2014. "Incumbency (dis)advantage when citizens can propose Abstract:This paper analyses the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to citizen proposals such as the ," UB Economics Working Papers 2014/314, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    4. Jason DeBacker, 2012. "Political parties and political shirking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 651-670, March.
    5. Edward Wesep, 2012. "Defensive Politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 425-444, June.
    6. Tuvana Pastine & Ivan Pastine & Paul Redmond, 2012. "Incumbent-Quality Advantage and Counterfactual Electoral Stagnation in the U.S. Senate," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n221-12.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    7. DeBacker, Jason, 2011. "The price of pork: The seniority trap in the U.S. House," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 63-78, February.
    8. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1824-57 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Term limits; Incumbency advantage; Elections; Selection; Tenure; Senate;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.