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Term limits and electoral accountability

Michael Smart () and Daniel Sturm ()

Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History

Abstract: This Paper analyses the impact of term limits in a political agency model. We find that term limits reduce the value of holding office. This reduction in the re-election incentive can induce politicians to implement policies that are closer to their own private preferences. Such ‘truthful’ behaviour by incumbents will in turn result in better screening of incumbents whose preferences do not correspond to voters’ preferences. We show that these effects can make a two-term limit, which is the empirically most frequent restriction on tenure, ex ante welfare-improving from the perspective of voters. We present evidence from gubernatorial elections that the model’s main empirical implication is supported by the data.

Keywords: accountability; political agency and term limits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-02
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20283/

Related works:
Journal Article: Term limits and electoral accountability (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Term limits and electoral accountability (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Term Limits and Electoral Accountability (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Term limits and electoral accountability (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Term Limits and Electoral Accountability (2004) Downloads
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