Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar
Joint with Matias Iaryczower and Adam Meirowitz
Abstract: We consider a dynamic model of an incumbent politician running for reelection to estimate the relative value of office to policy for US senators. In the model, senators who have idiosyncratic policy and office motivations choose strategically their policy position and advertisement each period after observing their advantage in the polls. Their choices in turn influence voter support in the next period. We use the estimates of the model to quantify how career concerns and policy preferences affect electoral accountability and advertising in competitive and uncompetitive elections.