A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability

58 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2015 Last revised: 22 Mar 2017

See all articles by S. Borağan Aruoba

S. Borağan Aruoba

University of Maryland - Department of Economics

Allan Drazen

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Razvan Vlaicu

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); University of Maryland

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 14, 2017

Abstract

This paper proposes a structural approach to measuring the effects of electoral accountability. We estimate a political agency model with imperfect information in order to identify and quantify discipline and selection effects, using data on U.S. governors. We find that the possibility of reelection provides a significant incentive for incumbents to exert effort, that is, a disciplining effect. We also find a positive but weaker selection effect. According to our model, the widely-used two-term regime improves voter welfare by 4.2% compared to a one-term regime and better voter information about the effort of the governors would further increase voter welfare by up to 0.5%.

Keywords: discipline, selection, political agency, elections, structural estimation, maximum likelihood

JEL Classification: D72, D73, H70, C57

Suggested Citation

Aruoba, S. Boragan and Drazen, Allan and Vlaicu, Razvan, A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability (March 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2598111 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2598111

S. Boragan Aruoba

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3508 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

Allan Drazen

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-3477 (Phone)
301-405-7835 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Razvan Vlaicu (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

University of Maryland ( email )

3114 Tydings Hall
College Park, MD 20742
United States

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