Incumbency Advantage in an Electoral Contest
In a campaign spending contest model, this paper investigates whether the sources of incumbency advantage are able to generate the observed pattern of campaign spending and incumbent re-election rates in US elections and assesses the degree to which campaign finance reform can mitigate the negative repercussions of incumbency advantage. The paper extends the existing literature by allowing the electoral benefit to the candidate’s visibility to be stochastic which is intuitively appealing since one dollar of extra spending should not take a candidate from a certain loser to a certain winner. Officeholders’ ability to generate free media exposure alone is shown to be unable to match empirical regularities. Incumbent’s superior fundraising efficiency is the key to matching the observed patterns. In contrast to previous literature, the model predicts that campaign finance legislation can help reduce the challenger scare-off effect of incumbency advantage.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare|
Web page: http://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/economics-finance-and-accounting
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- Paul Redmond, 2017. "Incumbent-challenger and open-seat elections in a spatial model of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(1), pages 79-97, January.
- Cox, Gary W. & Katz, Jonathan N., 1995. "Why Did The Incumbency Advantage In U.S. House Elections Grow?," Working Papers 939, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Yogesh Uppal, 2010. "Estimating Incumbency Effects In U.S. State Legislatures: A Quasi-Experimental Study," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 180-199, 07.
- Hao Jia, 2008. "A stochastic derivation of the ratio form of contest success functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 125-130, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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