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Legislative Pay and Legislator Quality

Listed author(s):
  • Franklin G. Mixon Jr
  • Sean P. Salter

This study extends previous work by Mixon and Wilkinson (1999, Public Finance Review 27: 418-433) and Palia (2000, RAND Journal of Economics 31: 165-179) suggesting that formal human capital attainment is lower in political and managerial roles wherein expected compensation is less. The present study constructs a cumulative probability distribution function for years of education attained for both branches of the 109th US Congress and finds that the distribution of years of education attainment in the US Senate second-order dominates that in the US House due to differences in the expected compensation levels favoring the former congressional branch. The stochastic dominance test results are supported by findings of significant differences in education attainment (favoring senators) at different quantiles of the joint education attainment distribution. Finally, goodness-of-fit tests also indicate that the distribution of education attainment quality in the US Senate, as measured by various academic institution quality indicators, is significantly different from that in the US House, again owing to the differences in expected compensation. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation 2008 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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Article provided by CEIS in its journal LABOUR.

Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 679-695

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:22:y:2008:i:4:p:679-695
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