Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits

36 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2007 Last revised: 20 Apr 2022

See all articles by Timothy J. Besley

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Anne Case

Princeton University - Research Program in Development Studies; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 1993

Abstract

This paper uses data from U.S. states to investigate whether electoral accountability affects economic policy choices. We set up a model in which the possibility of being re-elected may curtail opportunistic behavior by incumbent governors. We find that facing a binding term limit affects choices on taxes, expenditures, state minimum wages and mandates on workers' compensation. Such effects are found also to vary with the party affiliation of the incumbent. The Democratic party also appears to suffer at the polls following the term of a lame-duck, Democratic incumbent.

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Case, Anne, Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits (December 1993). NBER Working Paper No. w4575, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=480279

Timothy J. Besley (Contact Author)

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Anne Case

Princeton University - Research Program in Development Studies ( email )

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