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Political selection of public servants and parliamentary oversight

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  • Thomas Braendle

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  • Alois Stutzer

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Abstract

In this paper, we propose a framework to integrate the identity of legislators in a politico-economic analysis of parliamentary oversight. Legislators decide about the effort they invest in oversight activities depending on their individual control costs and the level of electoral competition. We focus on public servants elected to parliament who face a conflict of interests but also have lower control costs due to their experience and information advantage. If held accountable, oversight becomes a relatively attractive activity for them to win votes. For German Laender, we find that the fraction of public servants in parliament is positively related to the number of submitted parliamentary interpellations. This result holds when instrumenting the fraction of public servants in parliament with its institutional determinants. Moreover, a mixed-member electoral system as well as a tighter race between the two biggest parties is related to more, a larger number of parties in parliament to less minor interpellations. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2013. "Political selection of public servants and parliamentary oversight," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 45-76, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:14:y:2013:i:1:p:45-76 DOI: 10.1007/s10101-012-0120-z
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger & Marco Portmann, 2014. "Voting against the separation of powers between legislature and administration," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, pages 207-229.
    2. Simon Luechinger & Mark Schelker, 2015. "Regulation in Swiss Cantons: Data for one Century," CESifo Working Paper Series 5663, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Thomas Braendle, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics?," Working papers 2013/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    4. Alessandro Fedele & Paolo Naticchioni, 2016. "Moonlighting Politicians: Motivation Matters!," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 127-156, May.
    5. Arnold, Felix & Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas, 2014. "Outside earnings, absence, and activity: Evidence from German parliamentarians," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 147-157.
    6. Braendle, Thomas & Stutzer, Alois, 2016. "Selection of public servants into politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 696-719.
    7. Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2017. "Voters and Representatives: How Should Representatives Be Selected?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    8. Nicolas Gavoille, 2017. "Who are the ‘ghost’ MPs? Evidence from the French Parliament," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2017-03-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political selection; Parliamentary oversight; Public servants; Interpellations; D72; D73; H11; H83;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration

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