AbstractWe present a simple theory of the quality (competence and honesty) of elected officials. Our theory offers four main insights. Low-quality citizens have a 'comparative advantage' in pursuing elective office, because their market wages are lower than those of high-quality citizens (competence), and/or because they reap higher returns from holding office (honesty). Hence, voters may find themselves supply constrained of high-quality candidates. Second, bad politicians generate negative externalities for good ones, making their rewards from office increasing in the average quality of office holders. This leads to multiple equilibria in quality. Third, incumbent policymakers can influence the rewards of future policymakers, leading to path dependence in quality: bad governments saw the seeds for more bad governments. Fourth, quality-constrained voters look for the optimal mix of honesty and ability, and this may lead to a negative correlation between these two qualities across political entities.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8532.
Date of creation: Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Caselli, Francesco and Massimo Morelli. "Bad Politicians," Journal of Public Economics, 2004, v88(3-4,Mar), 759-782.
Note: EFG PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2000. "Bad politicians," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 134, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2001-10-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2001-10-16 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-LAW-2001-10-16 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2001-10-16 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2001-10-16 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2001-10-16 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2001-10-16 (Public Finance)
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.:
- 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 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.
- Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
- Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2000.
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics
134, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995.
"A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
1995-01, McMaster University.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
- 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.
- Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990.
"Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
- Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003.
246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 2003.
"Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 293-340, October.
- 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.
- Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government," NBER Working Papers 6789, 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.
- 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.
- Andvig, Jens Chr. & Moene, Karl Ove, 1990.
"How corruption may corrupt,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 63-76, January.
- Christian Harm & Joshua Charap, 1999. "Institutionalized Corruption and the Kleptocratic State," IMF Working Papers 99/91, International Monetary Fund.
- Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
- Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986.
"Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cadot, Olivier, 1987. "Corruption as a gamble," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-244, July.
- Kaufmann, Daniel & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1999.
"Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?,"
8209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," IMF Working Papers 00/64, International Monetary Fund.
- 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.
- Kaufman, Daniel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does"grease money"speed up the wheels of commerce?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2254, The World Bank.
- Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
- 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.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1991. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Discussion Papers 956, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, December.
- Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
- 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.
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: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.