Incumbency Disadvantage in U.S. National Politics: The Role of Policy Inertia and Prospective Voting

52 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2018

See all articles by Satyajit Chatterjee

Satyajit Chatterjee

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Burcu Eyigungor

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Date Written: 2017-12-21

Abstract

We document that postwar U.S. national elections show a strong pattern of "incumbency disadvantage": If the presidency has been held by a party for some time, that party tends to lose seats in Congress. We develop a model of partisan politics with policy inertia and prospective voting to explain this finding. Positive and normative implications of the model are explored.

Keywords: rational partisan model, incumbency disadvantage, policy inertia, prospective voting, median voter

JEL Classification: D72, H50

Suggested Citation

Chatterjee, Satyajit and Eyigungor, Burcu, Incumbency Disadvantage in U.S. National Politics: The Role of Policy Inertia and Prospective Voting (2017-12-21). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 17-43. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3092176

Satyajit Chatterjee (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States
215-574-3861 (Phone)
215-574-4364 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/chatterjeesatyajit/home

Burcu Eyigungor

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

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