Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Demonstrating the (in) effectiveness of electoral reforms

Fahey, Kevin ORCID: 2018. Demonstrating the (in) effectiveness of electoral reforms. Electoral Studies 56 , pp. 35-46. 10.1016/j.electstud.2018.08.013

Full text not available from this repository.


Have electoral reforms to reduce the incumbency advantage worked as intended? I articulate a theory wherein reforms may contribute to a weakening incumbency advantage, or may counterintuitively weaken challengers by changing party incentives. Combining causal inference techniques on a set of 70,000 U.S. state legislative elections, I estimate changes to the annual incumbency effect after the implementation of two popular reforms, term limits and staffing cuts. This test arbitrates between two competing expectations of how reforms should change the incumbency effect. My findings show that the reforms did not work as intended. The incumbency effect grew faster in term-limited states than in states without term limits, while staff cuts failed to slow the growth of the incumbency effect. I conclude that party incentives ought to be considered when citizens engage in future policy reforms regarding the incumbency advantage.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Cardiff Law & Politics
Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0261-3794
Date of Acceptance: 29 August 2018
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 08:15

Citation Data

Cited 1 time in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item