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Incumbency Advantage in an Electoral Contest

Matthew Cole (), Ivan Pastine and Tuvana Pastine

No 1304, Working Papers from Florida International University, Department of Economics

Abstract: In a campaign spending contest model, this paper investigates whether the sources of incumbency advantage are able to generate the observed pattern of campaign spending and incumbent reelection rates in US elections and assesses the degree to which campaign ?nance reform can mitigate the negative repercussions of incumbency advantage. The paper extends the existing literature by allowing the electoral bene?t to the candidate¡¯s visibility to be stochastic which is intuitively appealing since one dollar of extra spending should not take a candidate from a certain loser to a certain winner. Officeholders¡¯ ability to generate free media exposure alone is shown to be unable to match empirical regularities. Incumbent¡¯s superior fundraising efficiency is the key to matching the observed patterns. In contrast to previous literature, the model predicts that campaign ?nance legislation can help reduce the challenger scare-off effect of incumbency advantage.

Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2013-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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http://economics.fiu.edu/research/working-papers/2013/1304/1304.pdf First version, 2013 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Incumbency Advantage in an Electoral Contest (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Incumbency Advantage in an Electoral Contest (2013) Downloads
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