Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits

  title={Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits},
  author={Timothy J. Besley and Anne Case},
  journal={Public Choice \& Political Economy eJournal},
  • T. BesleyA. Case
  • Published 1 December 1993
  • Economics
  • Public Choice & Political Economy eJournal
This paper analyzes the behavior of U. S. governors from 1950 to 1986 to investigate a reputation-building model of political behavior. We argue that differences in the behavior of governors who face a binding term limit and those who are able to run again provides a source of variation in discount rates that can be used to test a political agency model. We find evidence that taxes, spending, and other policy instruments respond to a binding term limit if a Democrat is in office. The result is… 

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Term limits and political accountability

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Do fiscal rules dampen the political business cycle?

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The Role of Electoral Incentives for Policy Innovation: Evidence from the U.S. Welfare Reform

How do governors’ reelection motives affect policy experimentation? We develop a theoretical model of this situation, and then test the predictions in data on US state-level welfare reforms from 1978

Do Changes in Democracy Affect the Political Budget Cycle? Evidence from Mexico

The previous empirical literature in opportunistic election cycles attempts to identify whether there is a significant impact of the election calendar on economic policy. The econometric analysis

Effects of Term Limits on Fiscal Performance: Evidence from Democratic Nations

Political reputation models featureforward-looking, rational voters whore-elect incumbents based on their estimateof an incumbent's ability level. Fiscalpolicy is one of the ways an

Do Parties Matter for Fiscal Policy Choices ? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach *

This paper presents a method for measuring the causal effect of party control on fiscal policy outcomes. The source of identifying information comes from an institutional feature of the election

Do Bondholders Prefer Republican or Democratic Governors?

Past research has largely ignored the effects that political parties have on states' default risk. This paper addresses this question by analyzing the response of credit spreads to poll data from



Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections

This paper explores the role of reelection pressures in determining economic policy. By assuming that voters are uncertai n as to the efficacy of different policies, a reelection process is derived

State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics

  • J. Poterba
  • Economics
    Journal of Political Economy
  • 1994
This paper explores the dynamics of state taxes and spending during the late 1980s, when regional economic downturns and increased expenditure demands led to substantial state budget deficits. More

Voters as Fiscal Conservatives

Voters penalize federal and state spending growth. This is the central result of my analysis of voting behavior in Presidential, Senatorial, and gubernatorial elections from 1950–1988. The

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Political Cycles in OECD Economies

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On the Form of Transfers to Special Interests

An important question in political economy concerns the form of transfers to special interests. The Chicago view is that political competition leads politicians to make such transfers efficiently.

Electoral accountability and incumbency

This volume's sample of contemporary political theory draws on the rational choice paradigm in general and game theory in particular, and reveals several facts. First, applications of game theory

A critical review and an extension of the political shirking literature

ConclusionAfter substituting actual and real changes for proposed and nominal changes in budgetary and employment levels, it is clear that the size and scope of the federal Leviathon had not been

On the Determination of the Public Debt

  • R. Barro
  • Economics
    Journal of Political Economy
  • 1979
A public debt theory is constructed in which the Ricardian invariance theorem is valid as a first-order proposition but where the dependence excess burden on the timing of taxation implies an optimal

On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation

This paper develops a rigorous partial equilibrium analysis of the determinants of margin al welfare cost (MWC) of taxes on labor earnings. It shows that four key parameters interact to determine the