Incumbent-quality advantage and counterfactual electoral stagnation in the U.S. Senate

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Title: Incumbent-quality advantage and counterfactual electoral stagnation in the U.S. Senate
Authors: Pastine, Ivan
Pastine, Tuvana
Redmond, Paul
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3776
Date: May-2012
Abstract: This paper presents a simple statistical exercise to provide a benchmark for the degree of electoral stagnation without direct officeholder benefits or challenger scare-off effects. Here electoral stagnation arises solely due to incumbent-quality advantage where the higher quality candidate wins the election. The simulation is calibrated using the observed drop-out rates in the U.S. Senate. From 1946 to 2010, the observed incumbent reelection rate is 81.7 percent; the benchmark with incumbent-quality advantage alone is able to generate a reelection rate of 78.2 percent. In the sub-sample from 1946 to 1978, the reelection rate from the simulation is almost identical to the observed. The rates diverge in the second part of the sub-sample from 1980 to 2010, possibly indicating an increase in electoral stagnation due to incumbency advantage arising for reasons other than incumbent-quality advantage.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Series/Report no.: UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series; WP12/18
Keywords: Incumbent-quality advantageCounterfactual electoral stagnation
Subject LCSH: Voting research
United States. Congress. Senate--Elections
Other versions: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/WP12_18.pdf
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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