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Competition of politicians for wages and office

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  • Hans Gersbach

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Abstract

We examine a model in which two politicians compete for office and for wages. Their remunerations are either set by the public or are offered competitively by the candidates during campaigns. Our main finding shows that competitive wage offers by candidates lead to lower social welfare than remunerations pre-determined by the public, since less competent candidates are elected or wage costs and tax distortions are higher.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:32:y:2009:i:4:p:533-553
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-008-0315-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
    3. Hans Gersbach, 2004. "Competition of Politicians for Incentive Contracts and Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 157-177, October.
    4. Hellwig, Martin, 2001. "The Impact of the Number of Participants on the Provision of a Public Good," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-16, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    5. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
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    7. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    8. Gersbach, Hans & Liessem, Verena, 2008. "Incentive contracts and elections for politicians with multi-task problems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 401-411, November.
    9. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
    10. Werner Güth & Martin Hellwig, 1986. "The private supply of a public good," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 121-159, December.
    11. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gregor & Dalibor Roháč, 2009. "The Optimal State Aid Control: No Control," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(1), pages 093-113, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
    4. Nieken, Petra & Stegh, Michael, 2010. "Incentive Effects in Asymmetric Tournaments Empirical Evidence from the German Hockey League," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 305, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    5. Björn Kauder & Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2018. "Electoral cycles in MPs’ salaries: evidence from the German states," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(4), pages 981-1000, August.
    6. Kräkel, Matthias & Nieken, Petra & Przemeck, Judith, 2014. "Risk taking and investing in electoral competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 98-120.
    7. Timothy Besley, 2004. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture: Paying Politicians: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 193-215, 04/05.
    8. Karsten Mause, 2014. "Self-serving legislators? An analysis of the salary-setting institutions of 27 EU parliaments," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 154-176, June.
    9. Bernardino Benito & Francisco Bastida & Ana-María Ríos & Cristina Vicente, 2014. "The causes of legal rents extraction: evidence from Spanish municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 367-383, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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