AbstractWe present a simple theory of the quality of elected officials. Quality has (at least) two dimensions: competence and honesty. Voters prefer competent and honest policymakers, so high-quality citizens have a greater chance of being elected to office. But low-quality citizens have a “comparative advantage” in pursuing elective office, because their market wages are lower than the market wages of high-quality citizens (competence), and/or because they reap higher returns from holding office (honesty). In the political equilibrium, the average quality of the elected body depends on the structure of rewards from holding public office. Under the assumption that the rewards from office are increasing in the average quality of office holders there can be multiple equilibria in quality. Under the assumption that incumbent policymakers set the rewards for future policymakers there can be path dependence in quality.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 134.
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2000-08-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2000-08-07 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-REG-2000-08-07 (Regulation)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999.
"The Quality of Government,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1998.
"Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government,"
University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State
144, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Andvig, J.C. & Ove Moene, K., 1988.
"How Corruption May Corrupt,"
20/1988, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Kaufmann, Daniel & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1999.
"Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?,"
8209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Kaufman, Daniel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does"grease money"speed up the wheels of commerce?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2254, The World Bank.
- Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does "Grease Money" Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," NBER Working Papers 7093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," IMF Working Papers 00/64, International Monetary Fund.
- Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988.
"Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
- Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988.
"An overlapping generations model of electoral competition,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-379, December.
- Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen, 1988. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition," Scholarly Articles 4553015, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Stephen E. Spear, 1987. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition," NBER Working Papers 2354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rafael Di Tella & Raymond Fisman, 2002.
"Are Politicians Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?,"
NBER Working Papers
9165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000.
CEPR Discussion Papers
2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2000. "Bad politicians," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 134, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004.
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
- Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
- Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
- Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1991.
"Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis,"
956, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Myerson Roger B., 1993. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 118-132, January.
- Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Buying the Bums Out: What's the Dollar Value of a Seat in Congress?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9923, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Cadot, Olivier, 1987. "Corruption as a gamble," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-244, July.
- Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996.
"A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
- Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
- Besley, Timothy & McLaren, John, 1993. "Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 119-41, January.
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1990.
"Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Positive Theory of Discretionary Policy, the Cost of Democratic Government and the Benefits of a Constitution," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(3), pages 367-88, July.
- Alberto Ades & Rafael Di Tella, 1997. "The New Economics of Corruption: a Survey and Some New Results," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 45(3), pages 496-515.
- Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
- Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, .
""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy'',"
CARESS Working Papres
95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944, January.
- Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
- Christian Harm & Joshua Charap, 1999. "Institutionalized Corruption and the Kleptocratic State," IMF Working Papers 99/91, International Monetary Fund.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Janelle Ruswick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.