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Is there duration dependence in Portuguese local governments’ tenure?


  • Vítor Castro

    () (Universidade de Coimbra and NIPE)

  • Rodrigo Martins

    (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra)


This paper analyses the presence of duration dependence in local governments’ tenure employing continuous and discrete-time duration analyses over a set of spells of time in office for the period 1979-2005. Our results show that the more time a party remains in office, the higher is the likelihood of leaving it. However, more flexible polynomial-in-time, cubic splines and time-dummies specifications show that the behaviour of that likelihood is not monotonic: it increases but only until the third term, then it decreases until the sixth term before starting to increase again. This study also shows that the likelihood of an incumbent party leaving office, given his tenure, is affected by the local economic environment, political support, the effective number of parties, the dimension of the municipality and the age of its leader. Additionally, it shows that that likelihood is consistently lower when the party leader/mayor decides to run for another term.

Suggested Citation

  • Vítor Castro & Rodrigo Martins, 2012. "Is there duration dependence in Portuguese local governments’ tenure?," NIPE Working Papers 9/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:9/2012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Castro, Vítor, 2010. "The duration of economic expansions and recessions: More than duration dependence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 347-365, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon, 2012. "Structural Vulnerability and Excessive Public Indebtedness in CFA Franc Zone Countries," Working Papers halshs-00749470, HAL.
    2. Sena Kimm GNANGNON, 2012. "Structural Vulnerability and Excessive Public Indebtedness in CFA Franc Zone Countries," Working Papers 201237, CERDI.
    3. Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm, 2013. "Structural vulnerability and excessive public indebtedness in CFA Franc Zone countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 816-832.
    4. Fedeli, Silvia & Forte, Francesco & Leonida, Leone, 2014. "The law of survival of the political class: An analysis of the Italian parliament (1946–2013)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 102-121.
    5. Balaguer-Coll, Maria Teresa & Brun-Martos, María Isabel & Forte, Anabel & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2015. "Local governments' re-election and its determinants: New evidence based on a Bayesian approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 94-108.

    More about this item


    Terms in office; Portugal; Duration dependence; Parties.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H79 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies


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