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Estimation of the Incumbency Effects in the US State Legislatures: A Quasi-Experimental Approach

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  • Uppal, Yogesh

Abstract

This paper estimates the incumbency effects in the legislative elections of 45 states in the US during the period 1968-89. I improve upon the existing measures of incumbency by using a quasi-experimental research design that isolates the effect due to incumbency from other contemporaneous factors such as candidate quality. I find that incumbency bestows a significant advantage on incumbents compared with their challengers. The incumbent candidates are about 30 percentage points more likely to win the next election and win 5.3 percentage point more votes than the challengers. However, the advantage is not as large as estimated from the previous methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Uppal, Yogesh, 2008. "Estimation of the Incumbency Effects in the US State Legislatures: A Quasi-Experimental Approach," MPRA Paper 8575, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8575
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/8575/1/MPRA_paper_8575.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859.
    2. Levitt, Steven D, 1994. "Using Repeat Challengers to Estimate the Effect of Campaign Spending on Election Outcomes in the U.S. House," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 777-798, August.
    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. repec:cup:apsrev:v:72:y:1978:i:02:p:469-491_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:04:p:859-874_22 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incumbency; Elections; Regression Discontinuity;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables

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