Incentive Effect of Legislative Recall Elections

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2025-05-25

Date

2023

Journal Title

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Abstract

Recall election is designed to enhance politicians’ accountability to their constituents, but empirical testing of recall’s success at achieving this goal are few, especially when parties are in the picture. In this paper, I postulate that, when the governing party attempts to pass extreme policies early in the legislative term to prevent them from hurting their members’ chance of reelection, thus resulting in an electoral cycle of legislation. Introduction of credible threat of recall will in turn incentivize the governing party either to refrain from passing extreme policies or to allow its members to cultivate a stronger personal vote to preserve the cycle and the extreme policies it enables. I adopt the difference-in-differences design to estimate the causal effect of a recall reform on the ruling party legislators’ personal vote-seeking behavior, more specifically their defections from the party line in roll call votes. However, as the recall’s incentive effect on defection rate is not identified, more investigation of other forms of legislative behaviors using different research design may be warranted in the future.

Type

Master's thesis

Department

Political Science

Description

Provenance

Subjects

Political science, direct democracy, incentive effect, legislative behavior, recall

Citation

Citation

Zhu, William (2023). Incentive Effect of Legislative Recall Elections. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27876.

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