IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Excessive Public Employment and Rent-Seeking Traps

  • Esteban Jaimovich
  • Juan Pablo Rud

We propose an occupational choice model in which the quality of the state bureaucracy influences aggregate output and the level of entrepreneurial activity through its participation in the labour market. Skilled agents differ in terms of their public service motivation: if agents with low public mission become bureaucrats, they will use their position to rent seek, by employing an excessive number of unskilled workers. This generates an upwards pressure on wages, which lowers profits and deters entrepreneurship. A better equilibrium results when public service motivated agents self-select into the state bureaucracy, since they exert high effort and employ a limited number of workers. The model also shows that the working class might optimally choose to vote for an inefficient public sector. We provide evidence supporting the mechanism in our model by confronting some of its main predictions to a variety of data sources.

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://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.118.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 118.

as
in new window

Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:118
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Via Real Collegio, 30, 10024 Moncalieri (To)

Phone: +390116705000
Fax: +390116476847
Web page: http://www.carloalberto.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2008. "Incentives and Workers' Motivation in the Public Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 171-191, 01.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2004. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," NBER Working Papers 12921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2007. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," Working Papers 0705, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2007.
  5. Hassler, John & Mora, Jose & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "The Survival of the Welfare State," Seminar Papers 704, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
  7. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 1695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Aney, Madhav & Ghatak, Maitreesh & Morelli, Massimo, 2011. "Can Market Failure Cause Political Failure," CEPR Discussion Papers 8533, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," NBER Working Papers 3530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kevin Murdock, 2002. "Intrinsic Motivation and Optimal Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 650-671, Winter.
  11. Rocco Macchiavello, 2007. "Public Sector Motivation and Development Failures," Economics Series Working Papers 332, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Verdier, Thierry, 1998. "Property Rights, Corruption and the Allocation of Talent: A General Equilibrium Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1381-1403, September.
  14. Rauch, James E & Evans, Peter B., 1999. "Bureaucratic Structure and Bureaucratic Performance in Less Developed Countries," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0sb0w38d, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  15. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  16. Philip Bond, 2008. "Persistent Court Corruption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1333-1353, 08.
  17. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 1997. "Why Don't Poor Countries Catch Up? A Cross-National Test of Institutional Explanation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 590-602, July.
  18. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  19. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Morelli, Massimo & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2007. "Entrepreneurial talent, occupational choice, and trickle up policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 27-48, November.
  20. Jaimovich, Esteban, 2011. "Sectoral differentiation, allocation of talent, and financial development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 47-60, September.
  21. 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.
  22. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
  23. James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 260-291, 04.
  24. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Mueller, Hannes Felix, 2010. "Thanks for Nothing? Not-for-Profits and Motivated Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 7663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  26. Gelb, A & Knight, John B & Sabot, R H, 1991. "Public Sector Employment, Rent Seeking and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1186-99, September.
  27. Kikeri, S., 1998. "Privatization and Labour. What Happens to Workers When Governments Divest?," Papers 396, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  28. Durden, Garey, 1990. " The Effect of Rent-Seeking on Family Income Levels: Some Suggestive Empirical Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 67(3), pages 285-91, December.
  29. Thierry Verdier & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 194-211, March.
  30. Maitreesh Ghatak & Massimo Morelli & Tomas Sjöström, 2001. "Occupational Choice and Dynamic Incentives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 781-810.
  31. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
  32. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 307-331, August.
  33. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  34. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  35. Huw Lloyd-Ellis & Dan Bernhardt, 2000. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 147-168.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:118. 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: (Giovanni Bert)

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.