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Candidate Quality

  • Panu Poutvaara


  • Tuomas Takalo

We analyze the topical question of how the compensation of elected politicians affects the set of citizens choosing to run. To this end, we develop a sparse and tractable citizen-candidate model of representative democracy with ability differences, informative campaigning and political parties. Our results suggest that primaries, campaign costs and rewards have previously overlooked interactions that should be studied in a unified framework. Surprisingly, increasing the reward may lower the average candidate quality when the campaigning costs are sufficiently high. The model accommodates a variety of extensions of which we study costly primaries, two-stage signalling, and ideological differences.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1106.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1106
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  1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  2. Poutvaara, Panu, 2003. " Party Platforms with Endogenous Party Membership," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 79-98, October.
  3. Poutvaara, Panu & Takalo, Tuomas, 2007. "Candidate quality," Munich Reprints in Economics 19785, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82, January.
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  10. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  11. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Bilodeau, M. & Slivinsky, A., 1994. "Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a public service," Cahiers de recherche 94-01, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  13. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2001. "Reelection Threshold Contracts in Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 622, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  15. 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.
  16. Christian Schultz, 2007. "Strategic Campaigns and Redistributive Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 936-963, 07.
  17. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  19. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
  20. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  21. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  22. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
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