NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Razvan Vlaicu

Northwestern University
Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Rd, MEDS 5th Floor
Evanston, IL 60208-2001, USA

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2015A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability
with S. Bora─čan Aruoba, Allan Drazen: w21151
This paper proposes a structural approach to measuring the effects of electoral accountability. We estimate a political agency model with imperfect information in order to identify and quantify discipline and selection effects, using data on U.S. governors for 1982-2012. We find that the possibility of reelection provides a significant incentive for incumbents to exert effort. We also find a selection effect, although it is weaker in terms of its effect on average governor performance. According to our model, the widely-used two-term regime improves voter welfare by 4.2% compared to a one-term regime, and find that a three-term regime may improve voter welfare even further.
 
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