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Two Roles for Elections: Disciplining the Incumbent and Selecting a Competent Candidate

Juan Carlos Berganza ()

Public Choice, 2000, vol. 105, issue 1-2, 165-93

Abstract: This paper presents a political economy model in which the voters want to control moral hazard on the part of the incumbent and select a competent candidate to be in office. We focus on elections that take place repeatedly as the basic disciplinary and screening mechanism. It is shown that incomplete information of the voters about the (economic) competence of the incumbent helps to overcome the lame duck effect of a government with foreseeable end. A second finding is that economic performance strongly influences the reelection of the incumbent. In particular, in (stationary perfect Bayesian) equilibrium, if economic performance is bad, the incumbent will not be reelected. We also prove that having the possibility of reelecting a government increases the welfare of the voters to the no reelection benchmark. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 2000
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Working Paper: Two Roles for Elections: Discipling the Incumbent and Selecting a Competent Candidate (1998)
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