DP11103 An Appraisal of History-bound Reelections

Author(s): Hans Gersbach
Publication Date: February 2016
Keyword(s): history-bound reelections, incumbency advantage, non-competitive elections, Score-replication Rule
JEL(s): D7, D82, H4
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11103

In this paper we introduce history-bound reelections. In their simplest form, they are embodied in a "Score-replication Rule". Under such rules an incumbent has to match the highest vote-share he/she has obtained in any previous election in order to be reelected. We develop a simple three-period model to examine Score-replication Rules. We show that suitable variants of such rules can improve welfare as they reduce the tendency of reelected incumbents to indulge in their own preferences. At the same time, they ensure that able office-holders are reelected. Candidates might offer their own Score-replication Rule in campaigns. We outline how political competition may be affected by such new forms of elections.