The effects of uncontested elections on legislator performance

David M. Konisky, Michiko Ueda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Political competition lies at the core of representative democracy. Yet, uncompetitive elections and uncontested races are widespread in the United States, particularly at the state level. In this article, we analyze the consequences of uncontested elections on lawmaking activity. Our primary hypothesis is that legislators who run unopposed are less active lawmakers than those who were selected through competitive elections. Studying roll-call vote participation and bill introduction and enactment for most of the U.S. states for 1999-2000, we find that state legislators elected in unopposed elections perform more poorly compared to their colleagues elected in competitive contests.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)199-229
    Number of pages31
    JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 May


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

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