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Overprotected Politicians

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  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

This paper argues that politicians are overprotected. The costs of political assassination differ systematically depending on whether a private or a public point of view is taken. A politician attributes a very high (if not infinite) cost to his or her survival. The social cost of political assassination is much smaller as politicians are replaceable. Conversely, the private cost of the security measures is low for politicians, its bulk – including time loss and inconvenience – is imposed on taxpayers and the general public. The extent of overprotection is larger in dictatorial than in democratic countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 321.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:321

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Keywords: Politicians; rational choice; assassination; security; democracy; dictatorship;

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  1. Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2002. "The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 36, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, November.
  4. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
  5. Howard Taylor, 1998. "Rationing crime: the political economy of criminal statistics since the 1850s," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 51(3), pages 569-590, 08.
  6. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria Bas & Ivan Ledezma, 2007. "Market Access and the Evolution of within Plant Productivity in Chile," CESifo Working Paper Series 2077, CESifo Group Munich.

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