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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. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2011. "Corruption in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 17398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
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  5. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara, 2010. "Pay for Politicians and Candidate Selection: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3126, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  11. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," NBER Working Papers 14937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Raymond Fisman & Nikolaj A. Harmon & Emir Kamenica & Inger Munk, 2012. "Labor Supply of Politicians," NBER Working Papers 17726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Kaisa Kotakorpi & Panu Poutvaara & Marko Tervio, 2013. "Returns to office in national and local politics," Discussion Papers 86, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  2. Zohal Hessami, 2013. "Corruption, Public Procurement, and the Budget Composition: Theory and Evidence from OECD Countries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-27, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

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