Discussion paper

DP11331 A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability

This paper proposes a structural approach to measuring the effects of electoral accountability. We estimate a political agency model with imperfect information in order to identify and quantify discipline and selection effects, using data on U.S. governors. We …find that the possibility of reelection provides a significant incentive for incumbents to exert effort, that is, a disciplining effect. We also …find a positive but weaker selection effect. According to our model, the widely-used two-term regime improves voter welfare by 4:2% compared to a one-term regime.


Drazen, A and B Aruoba (2016), ‘DP11331 A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11331. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp11331