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Moneycracy

How do wage and other financial benefits affect the set of candidates for political office? In this theoretical paper, we answer the question by studying self-selection into politics of individuals with heterogeneous skills and heterogeneous motivations. Our predictions are in line with the efficiency wage results proposed by the extant literature when a benchmark model with skills as the sole relevant characteristic of individuals is considered. Welfare is increasing in the politicians'wage since the best, i.e., high-skilled, individuals are attracted to politics only if their remuneration covers their high opportunity costs. Our findings are remarkably different when motivation is also taken into account. Welfare is not likely to be maximized when the politicians'wage is relatively high, for high-skilled individuals with market-oriented rather than public-spirited motivation are attracted. Finally, we provide an overview of the labor market of politicians in Europe and suggest that the Italian Parliament might be representative of our inefficiency wage mechanism, which we call moneycracy.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp893.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp893
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  1. Poutvaara, Panu & Takalo, Tuomas, 2007. "Candidate quality," Munich Reprints in Economics 19785, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," NBER Working Papers 12921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert, 2010. "Managerial talent, motivation, and self-selection into public management," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 654-660, October.
  4. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2010. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives from Selection," CEIS Research Paper 162, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
  5. Tim Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Antonio Merlo & Vincenzo Galasso & Massimiliano Landi & Andrea Mattozzi, 2008. "The Labor Market of Italian Politicians," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 89, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  7. 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).
  8. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  9. Klaas J. Beniers & Robert Dur, 2004. "Politicians’ Motivation, Political Culture, and Electoral Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1228, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Fedele, Alessandro & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2013. "Moonlighting Politicians: Motivation Matters!," IZA Discussion Papers 7500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert, 2007. "Signaling and screening of workers' motivation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 605-624, April.
  14. Anthony Heyes, 2003. "The Economics of Vocation or Why is a Badly Paid Nurse a Good Nurse?," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 03/4, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Dec 2003.
  15. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the US," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1329-1352.
  16. Francesca Barigozzi & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Human health care and selection effects. Understanding labor supply in the market for nursing1," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 477-483, 04.
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