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Term limits and electoral accountability

Smart, Michael and Sturm, Daniel M. (2006) Term limits and electoral accountability. CEPDP, 770. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753019876

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Identification Number: 770

Abstract

Periodic elections are the main instrument through which voters can hold politicians accountable. From this perspective term limits, which restrict voters’ ability to reward politicians with re-election, appear counterproductive. We show that despite the disciplining effect of elections, term limits can be ex ante welfare improving from the perspective of voters. By reducing the value of holding office term limits can induce politicians to implement policies that are closer to their private preferences. Such “truthful” behavior by incumbents in turn results in better screening of incumbents. We show that the combination of these two effects can strictly increase the utility of voters.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2006 the authors
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2008 14:54
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2010 09:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/19771

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