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The Disadvantage of Winning an Election

  • Enriqueta Aragonès
  • Santiago Sánchez-Pagés

This paper analyzes the problem that an incumbent faces during the legislature when deciding how to react to popular initiatives or policy proposals coming from different sources. We argue that this potential source of electoral disadvantage that the incumbent obtains after being elected can jeopardize the reelection possibilities of the incumbent. We analyze the decision of the incumbent when facing reelection and we characterize the conditions under which the advantages that the incumbent obtains can overcome the disadvantages. Finally, we use the results of this analysis to discuss some implications of the use of mechanisms of direct democracy like referenda and popular assemblies on electoral competition.

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File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/439.pdf
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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 439.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:439
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  1. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Sánchez-Pagés, Santiago, 2009. "A theory of participatory democracy based on the real case of Porto Alegre," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 56-72, January.
  2. Carmen Bevi� & Humberto Llavador, 2009. "The Informational Value of Incumbency," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(5), pages 773-796, October.
  3. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  4. Helios Herrera & Andrea Mattozzi, 2010. "Quorum and Turnout in Referenda," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 838-871, 06.
  5. Hanna Ågren & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2007. "Do politicians’ preferences correspond to those of the voters? An investigation of political representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 137-162, January.
  6. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2008. "Referenda as a Catch-22," MPRA Paper 17084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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