The Incumbency Effects of Signalling

22 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2014

See all articles by Francesco Caselli

Francesco Caselli

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Tom Cunningham

Harvard University

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University

Inés Moreno de Barreda

University of Oxford

Date Written: July 2014

Abstract

Much literature on political behaviour treats politicians as motivated by re‐election, choosing actions to signal their types to voters. We identify a novel implication of incumbent signalling. Because incumbents only care about clearing a re‐election hurdle, signals will tend to cluster just above the threshold needed for re‐election. This generates a skew distribution of signals leading to an incumbency advantage in the probability of election. We also solve for the optimal threshold when voters have the ability to commit.

Suggested Citation

Caselli, Francesco and Cunningham, Tom and Morelli, Massimo and Moreno de Barreda, Inés, The Incumbency Effects of Signalling (July 2014). Economica, Vol. 81, Issue 323, pp. 397-418, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2449886 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecca.12060

Francesco Caselli (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Tom Cunningham

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Inés Moreno de Barreda

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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