Incumbency advantage and shocks in the electorate: The adoption of voluntary voting

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Abstract

Although the advantage that incumbents may have over challengers has been extensively studied, less is known about how incumbency advantage is affected by the adoption of voluntary voting. In this paper, I study incumbency advantage in Chile, a country that adopted voluntary voting in 2012. I find that incumbency advantage substantively decreases with voluntary voting. The primary mechanism explaining such reduction was the entry of high-quality challengers, who invested their campaign resources much more efficiently compared to office-holders. Overall, this paper contributes to the literature on electoral accountability by identifying how sensible is incumbency advantage to voluntary voting and the entry of high-quality challengers. Indeed, as incumbency advantage decreases when capable challengers compete for office, it suggests that scaring-off skilled candidates is one of the drivers of such advantage.

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APA

Argote, P. (2020). Incumbency advantage and shocks in the electorate: The adoption of voluntary voting. European Political Science Review, 12(2), 173–197. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1755773920000041

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