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Re-election Threshold Contracts in Politics

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  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Liessem, Verena

Abstract

When politicians are provided with insufficient incentives by the democratic election mechanism, social welfare can be improved by threshold contracts. A threshold contract stipulates the performance level that a politician must reach in order to obtain the right to stand for re-election. 'Read my lips' turns into 'read my contract'. Politicians can offer the threshold contracts during their campaign. These threshold contracts do not violate the liberal principle of free and anonymous elections in democracies.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5175.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5175

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Keywords: democracy; elections; threshold contract;

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References

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  1. Gersbach, Hans, 2007. "Vote-share Contracts and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  4. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Tax contracts and elections," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1461-1479.
  5. Gersbach, Hans & Liessem, Verena, 2003. "Incentive Contracts and Elections for Politicians with Multi-Task Problems," CEPR Discussion Papers 4075, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  7. Gersbach, Hans & Muller, Markus, 2006. "Elections, Contracts and Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
  9. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  10. 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.
  11. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Credibility of Optimal Monetary Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 911-20, December.
  12. Hahn, Volker, 2009. "Reciprocity and voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-480, November.
  13. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  14. Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "Investment, property rights and political instability: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1317-1341, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hans Gersbach & Markus Müller, 2011. "Information Markets, Elections and Contracts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3327, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Gersbach, Hans & Muller, Markus, 2006. "Elections, Contracts and Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2003. "Candidate Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 1106, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Markus Müller, 2009. "Vote-Share Contracts and Learning-by-Doing," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/114, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  5. Markus Müller, 2007. "Motivation of politicians and long-term policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 273-289, September.
  6. Bugarin, Mauricio S., 2009. "Vote Splitting, Reelection and Electoral Control: Political Gridlocks, Ideology and the War on Terror," Insper Working Papers wpe_199, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  7. Johannes Gerd Becker & Hans Gersbach, 2013. "A Theory of Threshold Contracts," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 13/182, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  8. 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.
  9. Verena Liessem, 2008. "Electoral competition, incentive contracts for politicians and unknown preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 13-41, January.

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