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A Structural Model Of Electoral Accountability

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  • S. Borağan Aruoba
  • Allan Drazen
  • Razvan Vlaicu

Abstract

This article proposes a structural approach to measuring the effects of electoral accountability. We estimate a political agency model with imperfect information in order to identify and quantify discipline and selection effects, using data on U.S. governors. We find that the possibility of reelection provides a significant incentive for incumbents to exert effort, that is, a disciplining effect. We also find a positive but weaker selection effect. According to our model, the widely used two‐term regime improves voter welfare by 4.2% compared to a one‐term regime, and better voter information about the effort of the governors would further increase voter welfare by up to 0.5%.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Borağan Aruoba & Allan Drazen & Razvan Vlaicu, 2019. "A Structural Model Of Electoral Accountability," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(2), pages 517-545, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:60:y:2019:i:2:p:517-545
    DOI: 10.1111/iere.12361
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Merlo, Antonio, 1997. "Bargaining over Governments in a Stochastic Environment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 101-131, February.
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    6. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
    7. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2011. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1274-1311, June.
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    9. John Duggan & Cesar Martinelli, 2015. "Electoral Accountability and Responsive Democracy," Working Papers 1057, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
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    13. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ohad Raveh & Yacov Tsur, 2018. "Resource Windfalls and Publics Debt: The Role of Political Myopia," OxCarre Working Papers 205, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    2. Eric Avis & Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2018. "Do Government Audits Reduce Corruption? Estimating the Impacts of Exposing Corrupt Politicians," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(5), pages 1912-1964.
    3. Vlaicu, Razvan & Whalley, Alexander, 2016. "Hierarchical accountability in government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 85-99.
    4. Ohad Raveh & Yacov Tsur, 2017. "Political Myopia, Public Debt, and Economic Growth," OxCarre Working Papers 200, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C57 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Econometrics of Games and Auctions
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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