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Politics in the Family: Nepotism and the Hiring Decisions of Italian Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Stefano Gagliarducci
  • Marco Manacorda

In this paper we investigate the effect of family connections to politicians on individuals' labor market outcomes. We combine data for Italy over almost three decades from longitudinal social security records on a random sample of around 1 million private sector employees with the universe of around 500,000 individuals ever holding political office, and we exploit information available in both datasets on a substring of each individual's last name and municipality of birth in order to identify family ties. Using a diff-in-diff analysis that follows individuals as their family members enter and leave office, and correcting for the measurement error induced by our fuzzy matching method, we estimate that the monetary return to having a politician in the family is around 3.5 percent worth of private sector earnings and that each politician is able to extract rents for his family worth between one fourth and one full private sector job per year. The effect of nepotism is long lasting, extending well beyond the period in office. Consistent with the view that this is a technology of rent appropriation on the part of politicians, the effect increases with politicians' clout and with the resources available in the administration where they serve.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1422.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1422.

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Date of creation: Apr 2016
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1422
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  11. Antonio Merlo & Vincenzo Galasso & Massimiliano Landi & Andrea Mattozzi, 2008. "The Labor Market of Italian Politicians," Working Papers 15-2008, Singapore Management University, School of Economics, revised Oct 2008.
  12. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, 04.
  13. Levitt, Steven D & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 30-53, February.
  14. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
  15. Boeri, Tito & Merlo, Antonio & Prat, Andrea (ed.), 2010. "The Ruling Class: Management and Politics in Modern Italy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199588282.
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