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The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results

John Duggan () and Cesar Martinelli ()
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John Duggan: Department of Political Science, University of Rochester

No 1056, Working Papers from George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science

Abstract: We survey and synthesize the political economy literature on dynamic elections in the two traditional settings, spatial preferences and rent-seeking, under perfect and imperfect monitoring of politicians’ actions. We define the notion of stationary electoral equilibrium, which encompasses previous approaches to equilibrium in dynamic elections since the pioneering work of Barro (1973), Ferejohn (1986), and Banks and Sundaram (1998). We show that repeated elections mitigate the commitment problems of both politicians and voters, so that a responsive democracy result holds in a variety of circumstances; thus, elections can serve as mechanisms of accountability that successfully align the incentives of politicians with those of voters. In the presence of term limits, however, the possibilities for responsiveness are attenuated. We also touch on related applied work, and we point to areas for fruitful future research, including the connection between dynamic models of politics and dynamic models of the economy.

Keywords: dynamic elections; electoral accountability; median voter; political agency; responsiveness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2015-10
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Working Paper: The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: A Survey and Some New Results (2014) Downloads
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