“Term Limits and Strategic Challenger Entry,” Collin Schumock, Yale PhD Candidate
AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: It is well understood that electoral institutions, and term limits in particular, have effects on electoral accountability. In this project, I explore an additional avenue through which term limits may impact accountability. I develop a political agency model with strategic challengers to examine the accountability effects of term limits in the presence of strategic challenger entry. Analysis of the game reveals that term limits may lead strong challengers to delay entering, preferring to run in an open seat race over running against an incumbent. This challenger behavior leads the incumbent to exert less effort while in office under certain conditions. However, this strategic delay behavior disappears when term limits are removed, thereby also removing this concern about accountability. This project contributes to our understanding of how term limits interact with, and potentially interfere with, political accountability when challengers make strategic entry decisions.
Collin Schumock is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Yale University. His research focuses on American political institutions, political economy, and special interest politics. Collin’s dissertation project examines how electoral institutions affect political accountability, shape elite behavior, and influence policy outcomes. His other work studies the role of money in politics.
This workshop is internal and open to the current Yale community only.