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The Runner-Up Effect

Santosh Anagol and Thomas Fujiwara ()

No 20261, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Exploiting regression discontinuity designs in Brazilian, Indian, and Canadian first-past-the-post elections, we document that second-place candidates are substantially more likely than close third-place candidates to run in, and win, subsequent elections. Since both candidates lost the election and had similar electoral performance, this is the effect of being labeled the runner-up. We explore the potential mechanisms for this runner-up effect, including selection into candidacy, heuristic behavior by political actors, and the runner-up obtaining an advantage from strategic coordination (being more likely to become a focal point). Selection into candidacy is unlikely to explain the effect on winning subsequent elections, and the weight of evidence suggests the effect is driven by strategic coordination. We find no effect of finishing in third-place versus fourth-place.

JEL-codes: D03 D72 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Note: DEV POL
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Published as Santosh Anagol & Thomas Fujiwara, 2016. "The Runner-Up Effect," Journal of Political Economy, vol 124(4), pages 927-991.

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