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Benchmarking Politicians

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  • Antonio Estache
  • Renaud Foucart

Abstract

We study a political system in which voters can optimally pick between political platforms,but cannot screen the quality of individual politicians associated with these platforms.A bad individual achievement can correspond to either incompetence (adverse selection) orcorruption (moral hazard). Information could improve, if independent experts assess achievementsas compared to commitments, allowing independent judges to investigate possible corruption.We find that while good experts are always beneficial as they increase transparency,the impact of the quality of judges is ambiguous. Above a threshold, with risk-averse socialplanners, good judges increase the incentive-compatible punishment of politicians, at the costof possible judiciary mistakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Estache & Renaud Foucart, 2013. "Benchmarking Politicians," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-20, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/143015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Smart, Michael & Sturm, Daniel M., 2013. "Term limits and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 93-102.
    2. Johannes Becker & Andreas Peichl & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Politicians’ outside earnings and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 379-394, September.
    3. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Disclosure by Politicians," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 179-209, April.
    4. Kotakorpi, Kaisa & Poutvaara, Panu, 2011. "Pay for politicians and candidate selection: An empirical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 877-885, August.
    5. AlÌcia Adserý, 2003. "Are You Being Served? Political Accountability and Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 445-490, October.
    6. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, September.
    7. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
    8. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "The politicians’ wage gap: insights from German members of parliament," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 653-676, September.
    9. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    10. repec:hrv:faseco:33077931 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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