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The Incumbency Dilemma and Rent Extraction by Legislators.

  • Law


An incumbent is able to shirk or otherwise obtain rents based on his tenure of office because more senior representatives are better able to advance their legislative agendas than are more junior members. The realization of incumbent rents implies that an electoral prisoners' dilemma occurs at the level of voters across electoral districts. Pivotal voters in each district would benefit if all incumbents were replaced by challengers with similar legislative programs because the cost of incumbent rents can be avoided, but each benefits if his representative has more seniority than those from other districts. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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