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Term limits and electoral accountability

Smart, Michael and Sturm, Daniel M. (2013) Term limits and electoral accountability. Journal of Public Economics, 107. pp. 93-102. ISSN 0047-2727

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.08.011

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 characterize under what circumstances two-term or even longer term limits are the optimal institution for voters. 0.65 cm

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-public...
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Economics
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
JEL classification: 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 > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Research centres and groups > Political Science and Political Economy Group
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 12:45
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2019 23:06
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/46860

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