A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability
58 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2015 Last revised: 22 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 14, 2017
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: Suggested Citation