Sorting in Iterated Incumbency Contests

Item Type Journal paper

This paper analyzes incumbency contests in a large population setting. Incumbents repeatedly face different challengers, holding on to their positions until defeated in a contest. Defeated incumbents turn into challengers until they win a contest against an incumbent, thereby regaining an incumbency position. Individuals are heterogeneous as regards their payoffs from being incumbent. We consider steady-state equilibria and study how and to which extent individuals sort into the incumbency positions depending on their type. In particular, we identify sufficient conditions for positive sorting, meaning that types with higher incumbency payoffs are overrepresented among the incumbents, and show that negative rather than positive sorting may also arise in equilibrium when these conditions are violated. Further results show how incumbency rents, surplus and sorting are affected by the frequency at which incumbency is contested.

Authors Häfner, Samuel & Noeldeke, Georg
Language English
Subjects economics
social sciences
political science
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SEPS - Global Democratic Governance
Refereed Yes
Date 6 June 2019
Publisher Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Place of Publication Economic Theory
ISSN 0938-2259
ISSN-Digital 1432-0479
Official URL
Depositing User Samuel Häfner
Date Deposited 04 Oct 2019 08:56
Last Modified 04 Oct 2019 10:47


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Häfner, Samuel & Noeldeke, Georg (2019) Sorting in Iterated Incumbency Contests. ISSN 0938-2259

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