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Mediocracy

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  • Andrea Mattozzi

    ()
    (Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

  • Antonio Merlo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper, we study the initial recruitment of individuals in the political sector. We propose an equilibrium model of political recruitment by a party who faces competition for political talent from the lobbying sector. We show that a political party may deliberately choose to recruit only mediocre politicians, in spite of the fact that it could afford to recruit better individuals who would like to become politicians. We argue that this finding may contribute to explain the observation that in many countries the political class is mostly composed of mediocre people.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 07-007.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:07-007

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Keywords: politicians; parties; political recruitment;

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References

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  1. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  2. Helios Herrera & Cesar Martinelli, 2006. "Group Formation and Voter Participation," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
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  5. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
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  7. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  8. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  9. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  10. Jackson, Matthew O. & Moselle, Boaz, 2002. "Coalition and Party Formation in a Legislative Voting Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 49-87, March.
  11. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-30, May.
  12. Martin J. Osborne & Rabee Tourky, 2008. "Party Formation in Single-Issue Politics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 974-1005, 09.
  13. Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 829-853.
  14. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  15. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  16. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó & Jason Snyder, 2007. "Political Dynasties," NBER Working Papers 13122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. 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.
  19. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
  20. Alberto Alesina & Stephen E. Spear, 1987. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Electoral Competition," NBER Working Papers 2354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, November.
  22. Levy, Gilat, 2004. "A model of political parties," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 250-277, April.
  23. Cecilia Testa, 2004. "Party Polarization and Electoral Accountability," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  24. Gilat Levy, 2004. "A model of political parties," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 540, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Becker, Johannes & Peichl, Andreas & Rincke, Johannes, 2007. "Politicians' outside earnings and electoral competition," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 08-3, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
  2. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2008. "Outside Income and Moral Hazard: The Elusive Quest for Good Politicians," IZA Discussion Papers 3295, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  4. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians? Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-009, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 07 Feb 2007.
  5. Becker, Johannes & Peichl, Andreas & Rincke, Johannes, 2008. "Politicians' Outside Earnings and Political Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 3902, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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