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Private Agenda and Re-Election Incentives

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  • Javier Rivas Ruiz

    (University of Bath)

Abstract

Abstract Consider a politician who has to take two sequential decisions during his term in office. For each decision, the politician faces a trade-off between taking what he believes to be the decision that generates a public benefit, thus increasing his chances of re-election, and taking the decision that increases his private gain but is likely to decrease his chances of re-election. In our results we find that if the politician is a good enough decision maker and he desires to be re-elected enough, he takes the action that generates a public benefit regardless of his private interests. Moreover, we find that the behavior such that the politician delays taking the action that generates a public benefit to the last period of his term in office before he is up for re-election is optimal if and only if he has either very high or very low decision making skills.
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Suggested Citation

  • Javier Rivas Ruiz, 2013. "Private Agenda and Re-Election Incentives," Department of Economics Working Papers 14/13, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:eid:wpaper:37903
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Finan, Frederico & Ferraz, Claudio, 2005. "Reelection Incentives and Political Corruption: Evidence from Brazilian Audit Reports," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19544, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Dan Bernhardt & Odilon Câmara & Francesco Squintani, 2011. "Competence and Ideology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 487-522.
    3. Javier Rivas, 2016. "Private agenda and re-election incentives," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(4), pages 899-915, April.
    4. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    5. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    6. Yianis Sarafidis, 2007. "What Have you Done for me Lately? Release of Information and Strategic Manipulation of Memories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 307-326, March.
    7. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    8. Enriqueta Aragonès & Thomas Palfrey & Andrew Postlewaite, 2007. "Political Reputations and Campaign Promises," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 846-884, June.
    9. Richard Van Weelden, 2013. "Candidates, Credibility, and Re-election Incentives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1622-1651.
    10. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
    11. Bernhardt, Dan & Campuzano, Larissa & Squintani, Francesco & Câmara, Odilon, 2009. "On the benefits of party competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 685-707, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quaresima, Federico, 2019. "Patronage Appointments between Politics and Public Governance: a Review," MPRA Paper 94650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Javier Rivas, 2016. "Private agenda and re-election incentives," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(4), pages 899-915, April.
    3. Federico Quaresima & Fabio Fiorillo, 2017. "The patronage effect: a theoretical perspective of patronage and political selection," Working papers 63, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.

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