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Just Hire your Spouse! Evidence from a Political Scandal in Bavaria


  • Björn Kauder


  • Niklas Potrafke



We investigate a case of political favoritism. Some members of the Bavarian parliament hired relatives as office employees who were paid using taxpayers’ money. We examine whether being involved in the scandal influenced re-election prospects and voter turnout. The results do not show that being involved in the scandal influenced the outcome and voter turnout of the 2013 state elections. We propose three explanations: (i) the Bavarian state election was a test run for the German federal election; (ii) the state government made a quite good job of clarifying failings; (iii) in June 2013, a very heavy bout of flooding eclipsed the political scandal.

Suggested Citation

  • Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Just Hire your Spouse! Evidence from a Political Scandal in Bavaria," CESifo Working Paper Series 4813, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4813

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    Cited by:

    1. Hillman, Arye L. & Metsuyanim, Kfir & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Democracy with group identity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 274-287.
    2. Arye L. Hillman & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2016. "Where are the rent seekers?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 124-141, June.
    3. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Supermajorities and Political Rent Extraction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 65-81, February.
    4. Nadine Fabritz, 2015. "ICT as an Enabler of Innovation. Evidence from German Microdata," ifo Working Paper Series 195, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    5. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Leonard Thielmann, 2015. "Stell doch einfach Deine Frau ein! Untersuchung der Verwandtenaffäre in Bayern," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(01), pages 50-55, January.
    6. Niklas Potrafke & Felix Rösel, 2016. "A Banana Republic? Trust in Electoral Institutions in Western Democracies - Evidence from a Presidential Election in Austria," CESifo Working Paper Series 6254, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Björn Kauder & Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Electoral Cycles in MPs' Salaries: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6028, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Niklas Potrafke & Felix Rösel, 2016. "Opening Hours of Polling Stations and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6036, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Larcinese, Valentino & Sircar, Indraneel, 2017. "Crime and punishment the British way: Accountability channels following the MPs’ expenses scandal," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 75-99.
    10. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Alexander Stecher, 2015. "Stell doch einfach Deine Frau an! Die Verwandtenaffäre in Bayern - der Untersuchung zweiter Teil," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(20), pages 20-24, October.

    More about this item


    political scandal; favoritism; nepotism; re-election prospects; voter turnout;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values


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