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Competition of politicians for wages and office

  • Hans Gersbach


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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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 51-71

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:33:y:2009:i:1:p:51-71
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  1. Gueth,Werner & Hellwig,Martin, 1986. "The private supply of a public good," Discussion Paper Serie A 40, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
  4. 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.
  5. Hans Gersbach, 2001. "Competition of Politicians for Incentive Contracts and Elections," CESifo Working Paper Series 406, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  7. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2003. "Candidate Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 1106, CESifo Group Munich.
  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. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. 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.
  11. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  12. Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 351-67, July.
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