The Incumbency Effects of Signalling
Much literature on political behavior treats politicians as motivated by reelection, choosing actions to signal their types to voters. We identify a novel implication of incumbent signalling. Because incumbents only care about clearing a reelection hurdle, signals will tend to cluster just above the threshold needed for reelection. This generates a skew distribution of signals leading to an incumbency advantage in the probability of election. We also solve for the optimal threshold when voters have the ability to commit.
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