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Incumbency advantages in the Canadian Parliament

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  • Chad Kendall
  • Marie Rekkas

Abstract

We apply a regression discontinuity approach to determine incumbency advantages in the Canadian Parliament, finding that incumbents enjoy a 9.4–11.2% increased probability of winning over non‐incumbents. Owing to the presence of multiple parties, an incumbency advantage in terms of vote share does not always translate to an increased probability of winning, because incumbents do not necessarily obtain votes from their closest opponent. Also, under the assumption that strategic exit is not an issue, we are able to split the incumbency advantage into party incumbency and individual candidate incumbency components, finding that the advantage is almost entirely due to the individual. On utilise une approche par la méthode de régression avec discontinuité pour déterminer les avantages qu’il y a àêtre l’élu en place dans les élections au Parlement du Canada. On découvre que les élus en place ont une probabilité de gagner de 9.4 à 11.2% de plus que leurs adversaires. A cause de la présence de multiples partis politiques, l’avantage de l’élu en place en termes de proportion du vote ne se traduit pas toujours par une probabilité accrue de gagner parce que les élus en place ne capturent pas nécessairement les votes de leur plus proche adversaire. De plus, en présumant qu’il ne s’agit pas de sortie stratégique, on peut départager l’avantage de l’élu en place en composantes correspondant à l’effet de parti et l’effet de l’individu. On découvre que l’avantage est presque complètement attribuable à l’individu.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Kendall & Marie Rekkas, 2012. "Incumbency advantages in the Canadian Parliament," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(4), pages 1560-1585, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:45:y:2012:i:4:p:1560-1585
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5982.2012.01739.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leandro de Magalhaes & Salomo Hirvonen, 2019. "The Incumbent-Challenger Advantage and the Winner-Runner-up Advantage," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 19/710, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2014. "Electoral Imbalances and their Consequences," MPRA Paper 68650, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Nov 2015.
    3. Santosh Anagol & Thomas Fujiwara, 2016. "The Runner-Up Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(4), pages 927-991.
    4. 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.
    5. J. Stephen Ferris & Stanley L. Winer & Derek Olmstead, 2018. "A Dynamic Model of Political Party Equilibrium: The Evolution of ENP in Canada, 1870–2015," Carleton Economic Papers 18-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 31 Jul 2019.
    6. J. Stephen Ferris & Derek E. H. Olmstead, 2017. "Fixed versus flexible election terms: explaining innovation in the timing of Canada’s election cycle," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 117-141, June.
    7. Brandon Schaufele, 2013. "Dissent in Parliament as Reputation Building," Working Papers 1301E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    8. Anna Katharina Spälti & Mark J. Brandt & Marcel Zeelenberg, 2017. "Memory retrieval processes help explain the incumbency advantage," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 12(2), pages 173-182, March.
    9. Federico Quaresima & Fabio Fiorillo, 2017. "The patronage effect: a theoretical perspective of patronage and political selection," Working papers 63, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    10. Michael P. Cameron & Patrick Barrett & Bob Stewardson, 2013. "Can Social Media Predict Election Results? Evidence from New Zealand," Working Papers in Economics 13/08, University of Waikato.

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