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Term limits and electoral accountability

Smart, Michael and Sturm, Daniel (2004) Term limits and electoral accountability. CEPR discussion paper, 4272. Centre for Economic Policy Research, London, UK.

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Abstract

This Paper analyses the impact of term limits in a political agency model. We find that term limits reduce the value of holding office. This reduction in the re-election incentive can induce politicians to implement policies that are closer to their own private preferences. Such ‘truthful’ behaviour by incumbents will in turn result in better screening of incumbents whose preferences do not correspond to voters’ preferences. We show that these effects can make a two-term limit, which is the empirically most frequent restriction on tenure, ex ante welfare-improving from the perspective of voters. We present evidence from gubernatorial elections that the model’s main empirical implication is supported by the data.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.cepr.org
Additional Information: © 2004 Michael Smart and Daniel Sturm
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 4272
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2008 16:43
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20283/

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