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Paying Politicians

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  • Matthias Messner
  • Mattias Polborn

Abstract

We consider a society that has to elect an official who provides a public service for the citizens. Potential candidates differ in their competence and every potential candidate has private information about his opportunity cost to perform the task of the elected official. We develop a new citizen candidate model with a unique equilibrium to analyze citizens’ candidature decisions. Under some weak additional assumptions, bad candidates run with a higher probability than good ones, and for unattractive positions, good candidates freeride on bad ones. We also analyze the comparative static effects of wage increases and cost of running on the potential candidates’ entry decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 246.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:246

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  1. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bilodeau, M. & Slivinsky, A., 1994. "Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a public service," Cahiers de recherche 94-01, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  3. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2004. "Candidate Quality," Public Economics 0406009, EconWPA.
  6. 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.
  7. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  8. Dutta, Bhaskar & Jackson, Matthew O. & Le Breton, Michel, 2002. "Voting by Successive Elimination and Strategic Candidacy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 190-218, March.
  9. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  10. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
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