A Structural Model of Electoral Accountability
S. Boragan Aruoba, Allan Drazen, and Razvan Vlaicu ,
2
( 60 )
International Economic Review
May
2019
Abstract

This article 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

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