How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy

40 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2004

See all articles by John A. List

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Daniel M. Sturm

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2004

Abstract

In this Paper, we explore to what extent secondary policy issues are influenced by electoral incentives. We develop a political agency model in which a politician decides on both a frontline policy issue, such as the level of public spending, and a secondary policy issue, such as environmental policy. The model shows under which conditions the incumbent finds it worthwhile to manipulate the secondary policy to attract additional votes to their platform. We test the predictions of the model using state-level panel data on Gubernatorial environmental policy choices over the years 1960-2000. In contrast to the popular view that choices on secondary policy instruments are largely determined by lobbying, we find strong effects of electoral incentives on environmental policy.

Keywords: Elections, environmental policy, lobbying, term limits

JEL Classification: D72, H72

Suggested Citation

List, John A. and Sturm, Daniel M., How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy (July 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=576964

John A. List (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Daniel M. Sturm

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany
+49 89 2180 1363 (Phone)
+49 89 2180 6227 (Fax)

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