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Double Hat Politicians: Political Moonlighting in Wallonia

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  • Nastassia Leszczynska

Abstract

Activities outside of public office or combining specific public offices simultaneously is a topic of ongoing heated debates. An element crucial to these discussions is whether moonlighting is detrimental for politicians’ performance. In Belgium, the combination of local executive and regional legislative offices, i.e. double hat politicians, is a frequent habit for a majority of politicians. This accumulation of activities might lead to (un-)desirable outcomes in terms of political achievements. This paper investigates the impact of holding several remunerated and honorary positions on regional MPs parliamentary activities and mayor’s municipality performance in Wallonia. I use a database of all public and private positions held by Belgian politicians in Wallonia since the disclosure of positions became compulsory for those holding at least one public position, i.e. from 2004 to 2016. For members of Parliament, wearing a double hat reduces global parliamentary activity. For mayors, it seems that holding more remunerated positions is associated with less efficient municipality management.

Suggested Citation

  • Nastassia Leszczynska, 2017. "Double Hat Politicians: Political Moonlighting in Wallonia," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-43, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/261072
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:368-386 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Carozzi, Felipe & Repetto, Luca, 2016. "Sending the pork home: Birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 42-52.
    3. Arnold, Felix & Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas, 2014. "Outside earnings, absence, and activity: Evidence from German parliamentarians," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 147-157.
    4. George J. Stigler, 1967. "The Economics of Conflict of Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 100-100.
    5. 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.
    6. Geys, Benny & Mause, Karsten, 2011. "Moonlighting politicians: A survey and research agenda," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:33077931 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:04:p:513-533_99 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2010. "Moonlighting politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 688-699, October.
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    Keywords

    political moonlighting; municipality governance; careers in politics;

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