No Sorting, No Advantage: Regression Discontinuity Estimates of Incumbency Advantage in Japan

Electoral Studies, Vol. 43, pp. 21-31, September, 2016

44 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2015 Last revised: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Kenichi Ariga

Kenichi Ariga

University of Toronto - Department of Political Science

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Roland Mansilla

Dartmouth College

Michio Umeda

Ehime University

Date Written: March 16, 2016

Abstract

While the existing literature has identified a sizable incumbency advantage in single-member district (SMD) races in developed democracies, we argue that some political and institutional contexts of Japan’s Lower House elections would undermine the incumbency advantage. Our regression discontinuity (RD) analysis indeed shows little advantage, and further examination suggests this as largely due to the “best-loser” provision in Japan’s mixed-member system, which gives a loser of SMD competition a chance to be a “resurrected” incumbent. We also show no evidence of sorting -- i.e., systematic difference between bare winners and bare losers -- in close SMD races and thus add further evidence to support the methodological argument that the election RD analysis is a viable and promising research design.

Keywords: incumbency advantage, regression discontinuity, mixed-member electoral system, Japan

JEL Classification: C20, D72

Suggested Citation

Ariga, Kenichi and Horiuchi, Yusaku and Mansilla, Roland and Umeda, Michio, No Sorting, No Advantage: Regression Discontinuity Estimates of Incumbency Advantage in Japan (March 16, 2016). Electoral Studies, Vol. 43, pp. 21-31, September, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2650138 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2650138

Kenichi Ariga

University of Toronto - Department of Political Science ( email )

Sidney Smith Hall, Room 3018
100 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3
Canada

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

Roland Mansilla

Dartmouth College ( email )

Department of Sociology
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Michio Umeda

Ehime University ( email )

3 Bunkyo-cho
Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8577
Japan

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