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Labor Supply of Politicians

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Author Info

  • Raymond Fisman
  • Nikolaj A. Harmon
  • Emir Kamenica
  • Inger Munk

Abstract

We examine the labor supply of politicians using data on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). We exploit the introduction of a law that equalized MEPs' salaries, which had previously differed by as much as a factor of ten. Doubling an MEP's salary increases the probability of running for reelection by 23 percentage points and increases the logarithm of the number of parties that field a candidate by 29 percent of a standard deviation. A salary increase has no discernible impact on absenteeism or shirking from legislative sessions; in contrast, non-pecuniary motives, proxied by home-country corruption, substantially impact the intensive margin of labor supply. Finally, an increase in salary lowers the quality of elected MEPs, measured by the selectivity of their undergraduate institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17726.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17726

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References

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  1. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2003. "Candidate Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 1106, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2007. "Democratic politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7744, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Antonio Merlo & Andrea Mattozzi, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," 2005 Meeting Papers 740, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Frederico Finan & Claudio Ferraz, 2009. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," Working Papers id:1889, eSocialSciences.
  5. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara, 2010. "Pay for Politicians and Candidate Selection: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3126, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Mocan, Naci & Altindag, Duha T., 2011. "Is Leisure a Normal Good? Evidence from the European Parliament," IZA Discussion Papers 5949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2010. "Moonlighting politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 688-699, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Braendle, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics?," Working papers 2013/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  2. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Luis R. Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2012. "The Dynamic Effects of Information on Political Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Puerto Rico," Working Papers 2012-14, Banco de México.
  3. Raymond Fisman & Florian Schulz & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Private Returns to Public Office," Working Papers id:4979, eSocialSciences.
  4. Felix Arnold, 2013. "German MPs' Outside Jobs and Their Repercussions on Parliamentary Effort," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1340, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Bernecker, Andreas, 2013. "Do Politicians Shirk when Reelection Is Certain? Evidence from the German Parliament," Working Papers 13-09, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.

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