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Lame Ducks and Divided Government: How Voters Control the Unaccountable

Mark Schelker

No 3523, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: Electoral institutions interact through the incentives they provide to policy makers and voters. In this paper divided government is interpreted as the reaction of voters to a systematic control problem. Voters realize that term-limited executives (“lame ducks”) cannot credibly commit to a moderate electoral platform due to missing reelection incentives. By dividing government control voters force a lame duck to compromise on policies with an opposing legislature. Based on data from the US states, I present evidence showing that the probability of divided government is about 8 to 10 percent higher when governors are lame ducks.

Keywords: divided government; lame duck; term limit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Related works:
Journal Article: Lame ducks and divided government: How voters control the unaccountable (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Lame Ducks and Divided Government: How Voters Control the Unaccountable (2012) Downloads
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