How the US Electoral Cycle Affects Elections Around the World

35 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2017 Last revised: 1 Mar 2021

See all articles by Johannes Bubeck

Johannes Bubeck

Deutsche Bundesbank

Ashrakat Elshehawy

University of Oxford

Nikolay Marinov

University of Houston - Department of Political Science

Federico Nanni

Data and Web Science Group

Date Written: June 5, 2017

Abstract

We probe whether foreign elections held close to US ones feature more bias. We use a game to demonstrate that greater monitoring costs - due to US distractions - result in more cheating by foreign incumbents in equilibrium. Foreign incumbents, however, have no incentive to adjust their election cycle to match the US one. This suggests we can identify the relationship empirically. We proceed to develop a novel measure of monitoring. To that end, we scrape texts from Congress and the Presidency. We demonstrate that there is less attention to foreign elections when American polls are close. Next, we evaluate empirically the equilibrium prediction of more biased elections abroad as a result of less attention. We examine the universe of all 4,200 contests since 1945. We use an index of bias to show the prediction holds - for Presidential, and not midterm elections. We conclude that international pressure helps keep cheating incumbents in check.

Keywords: Sanctions, Democratization, U.S. foreign policy, Congress, Presidency, Political Business Cycles

Suggested Citation

Bubeck, Johannes and Elshehawy, Ashrakat and Marinov, Nikolay and Nanni, Federico, How the US Electoral Cycle Affects Elections Around the World (June 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2981486 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2981486

Johannes Bubeck

Deutsche Bundesbank

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/johannesbubeck

Ashrakat Elshehawy

University of Oxford ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

Nikolay Marinov (Contact Author)

University of Houston - Department of Political Science ( email )

TX 77204-3011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nikolaymarinov.com

Federico Nanni

Data and Web Science Group ( email )

Germany

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