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Businessman Candidates

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Author Info

  • Scott Gehlbach

    ()
    (UW Madison)

  • Konstantin Sonin

    ()
    (New Economic School, CEFIR, and CEPR)

  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

    ()
    (New Economic School/CEFIR and CEPR)

Abstract

In immature democracies, businessmen run for public office to gain direct control over policy, whereas in mature democracies they typically rely on other means of influence. We develop a simple model to show that businessmen run for office only when two conditions hold. First, as in many immature democracies, institutions which make reneging on campaign promises costly must be poorly developed. In such environments, office holders have monopoly power which can be used to extract rents, and businessmen may run to capture those rents. Second, however, the returns to businessmen from policy influence must not be too large, as otherwise the endogenous rents from holding office draw professional politicians into the race, crowding out businessmen candidates. Analysis of data on Russian gubernatorial elections supports these predictions, showing that 1) businessman candidates are less likely in regions with high media freedom and government transparency, institutions which raise the cost of reneging on campaign promises, and 2) businessman candidates are less likely in regions where returns to policy influence (measured by regional resource abundance) are large, but only where media are unfree and government nontransparent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0067.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0067

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2008. "Outside Income and Moral Hazard: The Elusive Quest for Good Politicians," IZA Discussion Papers 3295, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Thomas Braendle, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics?," Working papers 2013/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  3. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality ofGovernment: Evidence from South India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 44, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Disclosure by Politicians," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 179-209, April.
  5. Ulrich Matter & Alois Stutzer, 2013. "Do Lawyer-Legislators Protect Their Business? Evidence from Voting Behavior on Tort Reforms," Working papers 2013/09, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  6. Pande, Rohini, 2007. "Understanding Political Corruption in Low Income Countries," Working Paper Series rwp07-020, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Timothy Besley & Jose G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal‐Querol, 2011. "Do Educated Leaders Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(554), pages F205-, 08.
  8. Yakovlev, Evgeny & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2007. "Deregulation of Business," CEPR Discussion Papers 6610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Timothy Besley, 2005. "Political Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 43-60, Summer.
  10. Serguey Braguinsky, 2009. "Postcommunist Oligarchs in Russia: Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 307-349, 05.
  11. Rohini Pande & Timothy Besley & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality of Evidence: Evidence form South India," Working Papers id:261, eSocialSciences.
  12. Beate R. Jochimsen & Sebastian Thomasius, 2012. "The Perfect Finance Minister: Whom to Appoint as Finance Minister to Balance the Budget?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1188, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  13. C. Simon Fan & Chen Lin & Daniel Treisman, 2010. "Embezzlement Versus Bribery," NBER Working Papers 16542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2011. "Selection of Public Servants into Politics," Working papers 2011/06, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

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