Incumbency Effects in German and British Elections: A Quasi- Experimental Approach
Following the recent turn towards quasi-experimental approaches in the US literature on the incumbency advantage (Lee, 2001; Lee, forthcoming), we employ a Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) to identify the causal effects of party incumbency in British and German post-World War II elections. The RDD framework exploits the randomized variation in incumbency status that occurs when a district race is close. Based on the assumption that parties do not exert perfect control over their observed vote shares, incumbents that barely won a race should be similar in their distribution of observed and unobserved confounders to non-incumbents that barely lost. This provides us with a naturally occurring counterfactual exploitable for causal inference under a weaker set of assumptions than conventional regression designs commonly used in the incumbency literature. In both British and German federal elections, we find that party incumbency has a signifcant positive impact on vote shares and the probability of winning in marginal districts, the sub- population of interest for which incumbency advantage is likely to make a difference. This stands in contrast to previous more ambiguous findings.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
- Härdle, W.K., 1992.
"Applied Nonparametric Methods,"
1992-6, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Hardle, W., 1992. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Papers 9204, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
- Hardle, W., 1992. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Papers 9206, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- HÄRDLE, Wolfgang, 1992. "Applied nonparametric methods," CORE Discussion Papers 1992003, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Wolfgang Hardle & Oliver Linton, 1994. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1069, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Erich Battistin & Enrico Rettore, 2003.
"Another look at the regression discontinuity design,"
CeMMAP working papers
CWP01/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Battistin, Erich & Enrico Rettore, 2003. "Another look at the Regression Discontinuity Design," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 18, Royal Economic Society.
- Erich Battistin & Enrico Rettore, 2002. "Testing for programme effects in a regression discontinuity design with imperfect compliance," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(1), pages 39-57.
- 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.
- LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
- David S. Lee & David Card, 2006.
"Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
- Oliver LINTON, .
"Applied nonparametric methods,"
Statistic und Oekonometrie
9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
- Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998.
"Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics,"
98-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Knack, Steve, 1994. "Does Rain Help the Republicans? Theory and Evidence on Turnout and the Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 187-209, April.
- Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
- Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0505009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.