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The disadvantage of winning an election

  • Aragonès, Enriqueta
  • Sánchez-Pagés, Santiago

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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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2010-21.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:153
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  1. 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.
  2. Dahlberg, Matz & Mörk, Eva & Ågren, Hanna, 2004. "Do Politicians’ Preferences Correspond to those of the Voters? An Investigation of Political Representation," Working Paper Series 2004:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Carmen Bevia & Humberto Llavador, 2015. "The Informational Value of Incumbency," Working Papers 276, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2008. "Referenda as a Catch-22," MPRA Paper 17084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  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. 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.
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