Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/224109
Authors: 
Klarin, Jonas
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper 2019:5
Abstract: 
This paper studies how a politician's term length affects public finances. I test whether the gradual increase from two- to four-year terms for American governors affects state finances using a rich state-year panel stretching back almost a century. The results show that adopting four-year terms decreases annual expenditures and revenues by 6 %. The effect of the reform is present immediately after voters approve the ballot measure, when the last two-year-term governor is still in office, which suggests that the mechanism at work is stronger re-election incentives for the incumbent. The effect is larger among electorally "at risk" governors. Democratic governors respond to longer terms by increasing public employment instead of decreasing expenditures.
Subjects: 
Term Length
U.S. Governors
Political Agency
Elections
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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