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Longevity returns to political office

Sebastian Barfort, Robert Klemmensen and Erik Gahner Larsen

Political Science Research and Methods, 2021, vol. 9, issue 3, 658-664

Abstract: Does political office cause worse or better longevity prospects? Two perspectives in the literature offer contradicting answers. First, increased income, social status, and political connections obtained through holding office can increase longevity. Second, increased stress and working hours associated with holding office can have detrimental effects on longevity. To provide causal evidence, we exploit a regression discontinuity design with unique data on the longevity of candidates for US gubernatorial office. The results show that politicians winning a close election live 5–10 years longer than candidates who lose.

Date: 2021
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