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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, 2010. "The Roles of Freedom, Growth, and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 329-358, 05.
  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. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497, April.
  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. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, April.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck74-1, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Bas, Maria & Ledezma, Ivan, 2007. "Market Access and the Evolution of within Plant Productivity in Chile," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6913, Paris Dauphine University.

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