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Private Returns to Public Office

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  • Raymond Fisman
  • Florian Schulz
  • Vikrant Vig

Abstract

We study the wealth accumulation of Indian parliamentarians using public disclosures required of all candidates since 2003. Annual asset growth of winners is on average 3 to 6 percentage points higher than runners-up. By performing a within-constituency comparison where both runner-up and winner run in consecutive elections, and by looking at the subsample of very close elections, we rule out a range of alternative explanations for differential earnings of politicians and a relevant control group. The ``winner's premium" comes from parliamentarians holding positions in the Council of Ministers, with asset returns 13 to 29 percentage points higher than non-winners. The benefit of winning is also concentrated among incumbents, because of low asset growth for incumbent non-winners.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18095.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18095

Note: CF LE LS PE POL
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  1. Eggers, Andy & Hainmueller, Jens, 2008. "MPs for Sale? Estimating Returns to Office in Post-War British Politics," MPRA Paper 7892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2011. "Corruption in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 17398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Antonio Merlo & Andrea Mattozzi, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," 2005 Meeting Papers 740, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  5. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  6. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  8. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara, 2010. "Pay for Politicians and Candidate Selection: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3126, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  10. Raymond Fisman & Nikolaj A. Harmon & Emir Kamenica & Inger Munk, 2012. "Labor Supply of Politicians," NBER Working Papers 17726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 347-373, March.
  12. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2011. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1274-1311, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara & Marko Terviö, 2013. "Returns to Office in National and Local Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 4542, CESifo Group Munich.

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