We assemble novel data from approximately 120 countries around the world on recent reelection rates of legislators to the national lower house of representatives. Data
show that incumbent reelection rates increase substantially with acountry's level of economic development. Using a formal model to inform our understanding, we argue that as acountry develops economically, the pool of individuals who seek political office improves. As better candidates enter the political arena, more good types are elected and then reelected. Historical data buttresses this line of argument. We use empiricalmethods to explore mechanisms to account for the pattern in political entry that we identify.
Miriam Golden is Professor of Political Science. She was educated at the University of California at Berkeley, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Cornell University. Professor Golden's research is in the area of political economy. She has conducted field research on issues of corruption and political malfeasance in Europe, Asia, and Africa. With economist Raymond Fisman, Professor Golden has recently authored Corruption: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2017). Her current field project concerns political responsiveness in Pakistan. She is also engaged in a cross-national and historical study of how and when politicians secure reelection.