Election Timing

Election Timing

by Alastair Smith
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521108314

ISBN-13: 9780521108317

Pub. Date: 04/09/2009

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Endogenous election timing allows leaders to schedule elections "when the time is right." Alastair Smith proposes and tests an informational theory of endogenous election timing that explains when leaders call for elections and the consequences of their decisions. In particular, he argues that, if all else is equal, leaders announce elections when they anticipate a

Overview

Endogenous election timing allows leaders to schedule elections "when the time is right." Alastair Smith proposes and tests an informational theory of endogenous election timing that explains when leaders call for elections and the consequences of their decisions. In particular, he argues that, if all else is equal, leaders announce elections when they anticipate a decline in their future performance. As a consequence, an early election signals a leader's lack of confidence in future outcomes. The earlier that an election occurs relative to expectations, the stronger the signal of demise. Using data on British Parliaments since 1945, the author tests hypotheses related to the timing of elections, electoral support, and subsequent economic performance. Leaders who call elections early (relative to expectations) experience a decline in their popular support relative to preannouncement levels, have shorter campaigns, and experience worse postelectoral performance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521108317
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/09/2009
Series:
Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figuresxi
List of Tablesxiv
Prefacexvii
1Calling Elections1
Government Survival9
Formal Procedures for Calling Elections12
The Study of Election Timing21
2An Informational Theory of Election Timing34
Modeling Election Timing36
Incentives to Call Elections45
What Do Early Elections Signal?48
Why Ever Go Early?53
What the Theory Predicts65
The Nuts and Bolts of the Election-Timing Model67
3The Timing of Elections83
The Determinants of Election Timing84
Data92
The Timing of Elections100
Conclusion121
4The Consequences of Election Timing125
Design of the Tests127
The Electoral Consequences of Election Timing130
Measuring the Relative Timing of Elections134
Empirical Determinants of the Electoral Consequences of the Timing Decision140
The Economic Consequences of Election Timing150
The Length of the Campaign and the Timing of Elections158
The Reaction of Stock Markets to the Announcement of Elections161
The Consequences of Relative Election Timing171
Appendix172
5Early and Late Elections in Britain178
Elections179
Early Elections (Relative to Expectations)181
Late Elections199
Elections on Time207
Elections That Never Were208
No Elections and No Expectations of Elections220
Spurious Considerations That Affect Timing221
6Conclusions224
Extensions to Other Systems229
Other Questions235
Endogenous versus Exogenous Election Timing240
Bibliography245
Index257

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