IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmic/v6y2014i2p205-46.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Candidates, Character, and Corruption

Author

Listed:
  • B. Douglas Bernheim
  • Navin Kartik

Abstract

We study the characteristics of self-selected candidates in corrupt political systems. Individuals differ along two dimensions of unobservable character: public spirit (altruism) and honesty (disutility from selling out to special interests). Both aspects combine to determine an individual's quality as governor. We characterize properties of equilibrium candidate pools for arbitrary costs of running for office, including when costs become vanishingly small. We explore how policy instruments such as the governor's compensation and anticorruption enforcement affect the expected quality of governance through candidate self-selection. We show that self-selection can have surprising implications for the effect of information disclosures concerning candidates' backgrounds.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Douglas Bernheim & Navin Kartik, 2014. "Candidates, Character, and Corruption," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 205-246, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:6:y:2014:i:2:p:205-46
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.6.2.205
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mic.6.2.205
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mic/app/0602/2012-0015_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mic/ds/0602/2012-0015_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Buisseret, Peter & Prato, Carlo, 2016. "Electoral control and the human capital of politicians," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 34-55.
    2. Prasenjit Banerjee & Vegard Iversen & Sandip Mitra & Antonio Nicolò & Kunal Sen, 2018. "Politicians and their promises in an uncertain world: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in India," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1806, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. repec:eee:pubeco:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:121-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Markussen, Thomas & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2017. "Choosing a public-spirited leader: An experimental investigation of political selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 204-218.
    5. Cerina, Fabio & Deidda, Luca G., 2017. "Rewards from public office and the selection of politicians by parties," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-18.
    6. Tommaso Giommoni, 2017. "Exposition to Corruption and Political Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," CESifo Working Paper Series 6645, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Aragonès, Enriqueta & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2017. "Voters' private valuation of candidates' quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 121-130.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:6:y:2014:i:2:p:205-46. See general 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: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.