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The disadvantage of winning an election

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://www.econ.ed.ac.uk/papers//winning%2003-2010.pdf
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Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 194.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:194
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  1. Dimitrios Xefteris, 2011. "Referenda as a Catch-22," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 121-138, June.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Humberto Llavador & Carmen Beviá, 2006. "The informational value of incumbency," Economics Working Papers 962, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Helios Herrera & Andrea Mattozzi, 2010. "Quorum and Turnout in Referenda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 838-871, 06.
  8. 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.
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