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Incentive Contracts and Elections for Politicians with Multi-Task Problems

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  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Liessem, Verena

Abstract

We consider a model with a politician facing a multi-task problem while in office. The re-election mechanism distorts the allocation of effort in favour of tasks whose outcomes can be measured more precisely than others. We show that a combination of elections and incentive contracts can alleviate this inefficiency. The incentive contract does not require information about the performance of the politician and is self-financing across terms.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4075.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4075

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Keywords: elections; incentive contracts; multi-task problems;

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References

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  1. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  2. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "State-Contingent Inflation Contracts and Unemployment Persistence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 286-99, August.
  3. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Scholarly Articles 3450061, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Credibility of Optimal Monetary Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 911-20, December.
  5. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  6. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
  8. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  9. Di Tella, Rafael & Fisman, Raymond, 2004. "Are Politicians Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 477-513, October.
  10. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Guido Tabellini & Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," UCLA Economics Working Papers 539, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative Would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-45, May.
  13. Glazer, Amihai, 1989. "Politics and the Choice of Durability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1207-13, December.
  14. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gersbach, Hans & Liessem, Verena, 2005. "Re-election Threshold Contracts in Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 5175, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hans Gersbach, 2007. "Anreize für Weitsicht und Wiederwahlschwellen: Wege zur besseren Demokratie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(4), pages 389-397, November.
  3. Lockwood, Ben & Porcelli, Francesco, 2011. "Incentive Schemes for Local Government : Theory and Evidence from Comprehensive Performance Assessment in England," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 960, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Gersbach, Hans, 2004. "Competition of Politicians for Wages and Office," CEPR Discussion Papers 4261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hans Gersbach, 2001. "Competition of Politicians for Incentive Contracts and Elections," CESifo Working Paper Series 406, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Gersbach, Hans, 2008. "Contractual Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6763, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Markus Müller, 2007. "Motivation of politicians and long-term policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 273-289, September.
  8. Neunzig, Alexander R., 2002. "Mehraufgaben-Prinzipal-Agenten-Analyse: Effiziente Arbeitsverträge für abwechslungsbegrüßende Arbeitnehmer," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2002-04, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
  9. Timothy Besley, 2004. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture: Paying Politicians: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 193-215, 04/05.

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