Article

You Have to Pay to Play: Candidate and Party Responses to the High Cost of Elections in Japan

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Abstract

What effect does the financial cost of running for office have on candidate entry decisions, and does it differ depending on a candidate’s motivations for running? We use a regression discontinuity design and panel data analysis to estimate the causal effect of campaign costs on candidate entry in Japan, where the amount of money required as a deposit for ballot access increased periodically to become one of the highest in the world, and a considerable part of campaign costs. We find that candidates from the major office-seeking parties were likely to be replaced after losing the deposit, and that these parties nominated fewer candidates following increases in the deposit amount. However, we find no such deterrent effect for fringe candidates. This finding calls into question the effectiveness of the deposit at fulfilling its supposed purpose, and sheds light on the differences between the financial and strategic coordination incentives that influence the nomination decisions of parties.

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... As the world's population increases, traditional elections become more expensive and challenging [14,15]. The unprecedented diffusion of the Internet has changed the way we trade [10], bank [9], learn [20], communicate [34], and also the way we vote [31]. ...
This volume contains papers presented at the 5th International Joint Conference on Electronic Voting (E-Vote-ID 2020), held during October 6–9, 2020. Due to the extraordinary situation provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held online during this edition, instead of at the traditional venue in Bregenz, Austria. The E-Vote-ID conference resulted from the merging of EVOTE and Vote-ID, and now totaling 16 years since the first E-Vote conference in Austria. Since that conference in 2004, over 1,000 experts have attended the venue, including scholars, practitioners, authorities, electoral managers, vendors, and PhD students. The conference collected the most relevant debates on the development of electronic voting, from aspects relating to security and usability through to practical experiences and applications of voting systems, also including legal, social, or political aspects, among others; turning out to be an important global referent in relation to this issue.
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This paper develops a sequential model of candidate entry into elections decided on the basis of plurality. The authors analyze the kinds of candidates who are most likely to enter elections and simulate several plausible myopic entry sequences under various assumptions about voter abilities to discern differences in candidate positions. In the cases examined, open elections for 'important' positions attract the entry of more than two candidates. Moreover, myopic entry often generates electoral outcomes which depart from the median-mean outcomes of the conventional models. These results are consistent with the observed diversity of candidates in presidential and other significant primary elections, which contrasts with many previous analyses of electoral entry. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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This paper establishes the relatively weak conditions under which causal inferences from a regression–discontinuity (RD) analysis can be as credible as those from a randomized experiment, and hence under which the validity of the RD design can be tested by examining whether or not there is a discontinuity in any pre-determined (or “baseline”) variables at the RD threshold. Specifically, consider a standard treatment evaluation problem in which treatment is assigned to an individual if and only if V>v0, but where v0 is a known threshold, and V is observable. V can depend on the individual's characteristics and choices, but there is also a random chance element: for each individual, there exists a well-defined probability distribution for V. The density function—allowed to differ arbitrarily across the population—is assumed to be continuous. It is formally established that treatment status here is as good as randomized in a local neighborhood of V=v0. These ideas are illustrated in an analysis of U.S. House elections, where the inherent uncertainty in the final vote count is plausible, which would imply that the party that wins is essentially randomized among elections decided by a narrow margin. The evidence is consistent with this prediction, which is then used to generate “near-experimental” causal estimates of the electoral advantage to incumbency.
Article
Theory: A simple rational entry argument suggests that the value of incumbency consists not just of a direct effect, reflecting the value of resources (such as staff) attached to legislative office, but also of an indirect effect, reflecting the fact that stronger challengers are less likely to contest incumbent-held seats. The indirect effect is the product of a scare-off effect-the ability of incumbents to scare off high-quality challengers-and a quality effect-reflecting how much electoral advantage a party accrues when it has an experienced rather than an inexperienced candidate. Hypothesis: The growth of the overall incumbency advantage was driven principally by increases in the quality effect. Methods: We use a simple two-equation model, estimated by ordinary least-squares regression, to analyze U.S. House election data from 1948 to 1990. Results: Most of the increase in the incumbency advantage, at least down to 1980, came through increases in the quality effect (i.e., the advantage to the incumbent party of having a low-quality challenger). This suggests that the task for those wishing to explain the growth in the vote-denominated incumbency advantage is to explain why the quality effect grew. It also suggests that resource-based explanations of the growth in the incumbency advantage cannot provide a full explanation.
Article
We develop a model of electoral competition in which citizens choose whether or not to run as candidates. A winner implements her favorite policy. The equilibrium number of candidates depends negatively on the cost of running and positively on the benefits of winning. For some parameter values all equilibria under plurality rule have exactly two candidates, whose positions are distinct. Two-candidate elections are more likely under plurality rule than under a runoff system (cf. Duverger's Law). The candidates' positions are less differentiated under a runoff system. There exist equilibria under both systems in which some candidates have no chance of winning.
Campaign war chests and congres-sional elections Doujitsusen, gunshikin haiken (Let's see campaign war chests for the same-day election)
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Rikkouhoji no kyoutakukin nid-Shakai, Kyousan ryoto no shisan ni tagaku no kokusai (Setting aside election deposits for the next electiondJSP and JCP purchase a huge amount of Japanese bonds)
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Explaining patterns of candidate competition in congressional elections A dynamic analysis of the role of war chests in campaign strategy
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Money Politics in Japan: New Rules, Old Practices
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Voter discernment and candidate entry in pluralitarian election Strategic voting equlibria under the single nontransfer-able vote Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral Systems
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Congelton, R., Steunenberg, B., 1998. Voter discernment and candidate entry in pluralitarian election. Public Choice 95, 287e305. Cox, G.W., 1994. Strategic voting equlibria under the single nontransfer-able vote. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 88, 608e621. Cox, G.W., 1997. Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral Systems. Cambridge University Press, New York.
Seat bonuses under the single nontransferable vote system: evidence from Japan and Taiwan Factional competition for the party endorsement: the case of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party Why did the incumbency advantage in U.S. House elections grow? Am The cost of intraparty competition: the single
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Effective " number of parties: a measure with application to West Europe Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office
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Japan: localism, factionalism, personalism Candidate Selection in Comparative Perspective: the Secret Garden of Politics
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Shiratori, R., 1988. Japan: localism, factionalism, personalism. In: Gallagher, Michael, Marsh, Michael (Eds.), Candidate Selection in Comparative Perspective: the Secret Garden of Politics. SAGE Publi-cations, pp. 169e189. Snyder Jr.,, James, M., Folke, O., Hirano, S., 2011. A simple explanation for bias at the 50e50 threshold in RDD studies based on close elections.