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Paying Politicians

  • Matthias Messner
  • Mattias Polborn

We consider a society that has to elect an official who provides a public service for the citizens. Potential candidates differ in their competence and every potential candidate has private information about his opportunity cost to perform the task of the elected official. We develop a new citizen candidate model with a unique equilibrium to analyze citizens’ candidature decisions. Under some weak additional assumptions, bad candidates run with a higher probability than good ones, and for unattractive positions, good candidates freeride on bad ones. We also analyze the comparative static effects of wage increases and cost of running on the potential candidates’ entry decisions.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 246.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:246
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  1. Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "Toilet cleaning and department chairing: Volunteering a public service," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 299-308, February.
  2. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
  3. Poutvaara, Panu & Takalo, Tuomas, 2004. "Candidate Quality," IZA Discussion Papers 1195, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2000. "Bad politicians," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 134, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 347-373, March.
  7. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
  8. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Dutta, Bhaskar & Jackson, Matthew O. & Le Breton, Michel, 2002. "Voting by Successive Elimination and Strategic Candidacy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 190-218, March.
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