Run for your life? The effect of close elections on the life expectancy of politicians

Mark Borgschulte, Jacob Vogler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of election to political office on natural lifespan using a regression discontinuity design and a novel dataset of winning and losing candidates for US governor, senator, and House representative. We find that candidates gain over a year of life from winning a close election. The effect is strongest for governors, and has grown larger over the course of US history. We also examine the effect of stress experienced in office, finding that serving in more challenging situations is not associated with reduced lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-32
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume167
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Longevity
  • Mortality
  • Politicians
  • Regression discontinuity
  • Status
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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