History-Bound Reelections

14 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2015

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: November 26, 2015


Often political races are not really competitive, and the path to reelection is smooth for many incumbents. In two-candidate races for office we suggest the introduction of a new re-election rule, which we call the “Score-replication Rule.” This rule requires that, to be reelected, any incumbent has to obtain a percentage of votes that is at least as high as the highest vote-share he/she obtained in any previous election (reduced by some margin). Such a delimiter would restrain negative “incumbency advantages,” and render reelection competitive again. It could also reduce polarization in the United States Congress. Moreover, we suggest how history-bound reelections could be used in European-style proportional election systems.

Keywords: D7, D8

JEL Classification: History-bound Reelections, Competitive Elections, Incumbency Advantages

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans, History-Bound Reelections (November 26, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2695700 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2695700

Hans Gersbach (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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