DP4664 Do Elections Always Motivate Incumbents? Learning versus Re-election Concerns
|Author(s):||Eric Le Borgne, Ben Lockwood|
|Publication Date:||October 2004|
|Keyword(s):||career concerns, citizen-candidate, effort, elections, incomplete information, learning|
|JEL(s):||D72, D78, H41, J44, J45|
|Programme Areas:||Public Economics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4664|
This Paper studies a principal-agent model of the relationship between officeholder and an electorate, where everyone is initially uninformed about the officeholder?s ability. If office-holder effort and ability interact in the determination of performance in office, then an office-holder has an incentive to learn, i.e., raise effort so that performance becomes a more accurate signal of their ability. Elections reduce the learning effect, and the reduction in this effect may more than offset the positive ?re-election concerns? effect of elections on effort, implying higher effort with appointment. When this occurs, appointment of officials may welfare-dominate elections.