Advertisement

Public Choice

, Volume 138, Issue 1–2, pp 9–27 | Cite as

The disadvantaged incumbents: estimating incumbency effects in Indian state legislatures

  • Yogesh Uppal
Article

Abstract

This paper estimates the incumbency effects using a large dataset on state legislative elections in India during 1975–2003. I use a Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) that estimates the causal effect of incumbency by comparing candidates in closely fought elections. I find that there is a significant disadvantage to incumbency in Indian State legislative elections, and the adverse effect of incumbency has increased after 1991. Also, the incumbency disadvantage is higher in states that have lower availability of public goods such as health centers, and lower employment, poverty and per capita income.

Keywords

Incumbency disadvantage Regression discontinuity design Indian elections 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ansolabehere, S., Snyder, J., & Stewart, C. (2000). Old voters, new voters, and the personal vote: using redistricting to measure the incumbency advantage. American Journal of Political Science, 44(1), 17–34. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bardhan, P. (2001). Sharing the spoils: group equity, development, and democracy. In A. Kohli (Ed.), The success of India’s democracy (pp. 226–241). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  3. Bardhan, P., & Mookherjee, D. (2000). Capture and governance at local and national levels. American Economic Review, 90(2), 135–139. Google Scholar
  4. Bardhan, P., & Mookherjee, D. (2005). Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries. Journal of Public Economics, 89(4), 675–704. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bardhan, P., & Mookherjee, D. (2006). Corruption and decentralization of infrastructure delivery in developing countries. Economic Journal, 116(508), 101–127. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baron, D. (1989). Service-induced campaign contributions and the electoral equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 104(1), 45–72. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernhardt, D., & Ingbermen, D. (1985). Candidate reputations and the ‘incumbency effect’. Journal of Public Economics, 27, 47–67. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butler, D., Lahiri, A., & Roy, P. (1995). India decides: elections 1952–1995. New Delhi: Books and Things. Google Scholar
  9. Chhibber, P., & Kollman, K. (2004). The formation of national party systems: federalism and party competition in Britain, Canada, India, and the US. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Google Scholar
  10. Chhibber, P., & Nooruddin, I. (2004). Do party systems count? The number of parties and government performance in the Indian state. Comparative Political Studies, 41(8), 152–187. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chhibber, P., Shastri, S., & Sisson, R. (2004). Federal arrangements and the provision of public goods in India. Asian Survey, 44(3), 339–352. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cover, A. D. (1977). One good term deserves another: the advantage of incumbency in congressional elections. American Journal of Political Science, 21(3), 523–541. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cover, A. D., & Mayhew, D. R. (1977). Congressional dynamics and the decline of competitive congressional elections. In L.C. Dodd, & B.I. Oppenheimer (Eds.) Congress reconsidered (pp. 54–72). New York: Praeger. Google Scholar
  14. Cox, G. W., & Katz, J. N. (1996). Why did the incumbency advantage in U.S. House elections grow? American Journal of Political Science, 40(2), 478–497. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cox, G. W., & Morgenstern, S. (1993). The increasing advantage in the US States. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 18(4), 495–511. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crook, R., & Manor, J. (1998). Democracy and decentralization in South Asia and West Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  17. Erikson, R. S. (1971). The advantage of incumbency in congressional elections. Polity, 3, 395–405. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Erikson, R. S. (1972). Malapportionment, gerrymandering, and part fortunes in Congressional elections. American Political Science Review, 66(4), 1234–1255. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ferejohn, J. A. (1977). On the decline of competition in Congressional elections. American Political Science Review, 71(1), 166–176. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fiorina, M. P. (1977). The case of vanishing marginals: The bureaucracy did it. American Political Science Review, 71(1), 177–181. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fraenkel, J. (2004). Electoral engineering in Papua New Guinea; lessons from Fiji and elsewhere. Pacific Economic Bulletin, 19(1), 122–133. Google Scholar
  22. Fraenkel, J. (2006). The impact of RAMSI on the 2006 elections in Solomon Islands. Political Science, 58(2), 63–85. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gelman, A., & King, G. (1990). Estimating incumbency advantage without bias. American Journal of Political Science, 34(4), 1142–1164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hahn, J., Todd, P., & Van Der Klaauw, W. (2001). Identification and estimation of treatment effects with a Regression-discontinuity design. Econometrica, 69(1), 201–209. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jacobson, G. C. (1985). Money and votes reconsidered: Congressional elections. 1972–1982, Public Choice, 47(1), 7–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jacobson, G. C. (1987). The marginals never vanished: incumbency and competition in elections to the U.S. House of Representatives. American Journal of Political Science, 31(1), 126–141. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Katz, J., & King, G. (1999). A statistical model for multiparty electoral data. American Political Science Review, 93(1), 15–32. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Laakso, M., & Taagepera, R. (1979). Effective number of parties: A measure with application to West Europe. Comparative Political Studies, 12(1), 3–27. Google Scholar
  29. Lee, D. (2008). Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections. Journal of Econometrics, 142(2), 675–697. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lee, D., Moretti, E., & Butler, M. (2004). Do voters affect or elect policies? Evidence from the U.S. House. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(3), 807–859. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Levitt, S. D., & Wolfram, C. D. (1997). Decomposing the sources of incumbency advantage in the U.S. House. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 22(1), 45–60. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mayhew, D. R. (1974). Congressional elections: the case of vanishing marginals. Polity, 6, 295–315. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mitra, S. K., & Singh, V. B. (1999). Democracy and social change in India: a cross-sectional analysis of the national electorate. Sage: New Delhi. Google Scholar
  34. Molina, J. (2001). The electoral effect of underdevelopment: government turnover and its causes in Latin-American. Caribbean and industrialized Countries, Electoral Studies, 20(3), 427–446. Google Scholar
  35. Porter, J. (2002). Asymptotic bias and optimal convergence rates for semi-parametric kernel estimators in the regression discontinuity model. HIER discussion paper # 1989. Google Scholar
  36. Steeves, J. S. (1996). Unbounded politics in the Solomon Islands: leadership and party alignments. Pacific Studies, 19(1), 115–138. Google Scholar
  37. Thistlethwaite, D. L., & Campbell, D. T. (1960). Regression discontinuity analysis: an alternative to the ex post facto experiment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 51, 309–317. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Trease, H. V. (2005). The operation of the single non-transferable vote system in Vanuatu. Comparative and Commonwealth Studies, 43(3), 296–332. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tufte, E. R. (1973). The relationship between seats and votes in two-party systems. American Political Science Review, 67(2), 540–554. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Uppal, Y. (2007). Estimating incumbency effects in the U.S. state legislatures: a quasi-experimental study. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Irvine. Google Scholar
  41. Weiner, M. (2001). The struggle for equality: caste in Indian politics. In A. Kohli (Ed.), The Success of India’s Democracy (pp. 193–240). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  42. Yadav, Y. (2000). Understanding the second democratic upsurge: trends of Bahujan participation in electoral politics in the 1990s. In F. R. Frankel, Z. Hasan, R. Bhargava, & B. Arora (Eds.), Transforming India: social and political dynamics of democracy (pp. 120–145). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsYoungstown State UniversityYoungstownUSA

Personalised recommendations