IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Self-serving legislators? An analysis of the salary-setting institutions of 27 EU parliaments

Listed author(s):
  • Karsten Mause

    ()

It is often criticized in public debates that politicians in many jurisdictions have the power to set their own salaries. This paper scrutinizes this practice from a constitutional political economy perspective. A novel dataset is presented which provides an empirical overview of the methods used to set the pay for members of parliament (MPs) in the national parliaments of 27 member states of the European Union. There is considerable cross-country variation in this respect. While in the majority of national legislatures MPs to some degree decide on their own salaries (i.e., ‘self-service’ model), in some systems MP pay is set by bodies independent from MPs. A multiple regression analysis provides empirical support for the self-serving-legislators prediction derived from Public Choice theory: controlling for population size and living costs, salaries are systematically higher in legislatures in which MPs have some say in their own salaries. However, this result has to be interpreted with caution as (1) independent wage-setting bodies exist only in five parliaments, and (2) this study could only include MPs’ basic salaries. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10602-013-9150-y
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 25 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 154-176

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:25:y:2014:i:2:p:154-176
DOI: 10.1007/s10602-013-9150-y
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/political+science/journal/10602/PS2

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Alston, Lee J. & Jenkins, Jeffery A. & Nonnenmacher, Tomas, 2006. "Who Should Govern Congress? Access to Power and the Salary Grab of 1873," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 674-706, September.
  2. Tuttle Markland & Bumpass Donald, 2010. "Factors Influencing Governors' Salaries, 1961-2001," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-20, April.
  3. Di Tella, Rafael & Fisman, Raymond, 2004. "Are Politicians Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 477-513, October.
  4. 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.
  5. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
    • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. W. Crain & Robert Tollison, 1976. "State budget sizes and the marginal productivity of governors," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 91-96, September.
  7. R. Hafer, 1977. "State budget sizes and the marginal productivity of governors: An extension," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 143-149, December.
  8. Massimiliano Landi & Antonio Merlo & Vincenzo Galasso & Andrea Mattozzi, 2008. "The Labor Market of Italian Politicians," Labor Economics Working Papers 22461, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  9. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2008. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Hans Gersbach, 2009. "Competition of politicians for wages and office," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 32(4), pages 533-553, May.
  11. Kotakorpi, Kaisa & Poutvaara, Panu, 2011. "Pay for politicians and candidate selection: An empirical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 877-885, August.
  12. McCormick, Robert E & Tollison, Robert D, 1978. "Legislatures as Unions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 63-78, February.
  13. Raymond Fisman & Nikolaj A. Harmon & Emir Kamenica & Inger Munk, 2015. "Labor Supply Of Politicians," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(5), pages 871-905, October.
  14. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "The politicians’ wage gap: insights from German members of parliament," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 653-676, September.
  15. Naci Mocan & Duha T. Altindag, 2013. "Salaries and Work Effort: An Analysis of the European Union Parliamentarians," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1130-1167, December.
  16. Sen, Pradyot K, 1991. "Evidence of Work Related and Incentive Payments in Gubernatorial Pay," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 71(1-2), pages 89-100, August.
  17. Michael P. Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2010. "Money, Political Ambition, and the Career Decisions of Politicians," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 186-215, August.
  18. Michael P. Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Money, Political Ambition, and the Career Decisions of Politicians, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-009, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Feb 2010.
  19. M.J. Hodgson & Charles ReVelle, 2003. "Foreword," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 17-19, September.
  20. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
  21. Sollars, David L, 1990. "A Constitutional View of Legislative Pay," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 81-86, October.
  22. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, 04.
  23. M.J. Hodgson & Charles ReVelle, 2003. "Foreword," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 17-19, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:25:y:2014:i:2:p:154-176. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.