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Strategic Institutional Choice: Voters, States, and Congressional Term Limits

Edward Lopez and R. Todd Jewell
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R. Todd Jewell: University of North Texas

Public Economics from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper demonstrates that states’ decisions on limiting congressional terms are empirically determined by measures of relative political influence in Congress. States’ choices on term limits are quantified as a multiple-categorical variable that reflects variation in the stringency of term limits laws passed. Using 1992 data on the American states, the model controls for unobserved heterogeneity that is introduced by some voters having access to institutions of direct democracy. At 2002 state-level values for congressional tenure and federal spending, the model predicts approximately eight to ten additional states would choose to limit terms of their own congressional delegations, but are prohibited from doing so under a Supreme Court ruling. The results hold implications for institutional federalism and the potential passage of similar political institutions across the states.

Keywords: term limits; political institutions; federalism; political economy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2005-12-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 33
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Journal Article: Strategic institutional choice: Voters, states, and congressional term limits (2007) Downloads
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