A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability

49 Pages Posted: 11 May 2015

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; University of Maryland

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2015

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 for 1982-2012. We find that the possibility of reelection provides a significant incentive for incumbents to exert effort. We also find a selection effect, although it is weaker in terms of its effect on average governor performance. According to our model, the widely-used two-term regime improves voter welfare by 4.2% compared to a one-term regime, and find that a three-term regime may improve voter welfare even further.

Suggested Citation

Aruoba, S. Boragan and Drazen, Allan and Vlaicu, Razvan, A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability (May 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21151. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2604832

S. Boragan Aruoba (Contact Author)

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

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

University of Maryland ( email )

3114 Tydings Hall
College Park, MD 20742
United States

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