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Candidate Quality

  • Poutvaara, Panu


    (University of Munich)

  • Takalo, Tuomas


    (Bank of Finland)

We analyze the topical question of how the compensation of elected politicians affects the set of citizens choosing to run. To this end, we develop a sparse and tractable citizen-candidate model of representative democracy with ability differences, informative campaigning and political parties. Our results suggest that primaries, campaign costs and rewards have previously overlooked interactions that should be studied in a unified framework. Surprisingly, increasing the reward may lower the average candidate quality when the campaigning costs are sufficiently high.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1195.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Tax and Public Finance, 2007, 14 (1), 7-27
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1195
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  1. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  2. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Hans Gersbach, 2009. "Competition of politicians for wages and office," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 51-71, June.
  4. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82.
  5. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Christian Schultz, 2003. "Strategic Campaigns and Redistributive Politics," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  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. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2001. "Reelection Threshold Contracts in Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 622, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2003. "Candidate Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 1106, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Hans Gersbach, 2001. "Competition of Politicians for Incentive Contracts and Elections," CESifo Working Paper Series 406, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. repec:oup:restud:v:68:y:2001:i:1:p:67-82 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
  13. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  14. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  15. Marc Bilodeau & Al Slivinski, . "Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a Public service," Public Economics 9405001, EconWPA.
  16. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  17. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2000. "Bad politicians," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 134, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. repec:oup:restud:v:55:y:1988:i:1:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  20. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  21. Poutvaara, Panu, 2003. " Party Platforms with Endogenous Party Membership," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 79-98, October.
  22. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:85-114 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties as Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489.
  24. repec:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:1:p:65-96 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:4:p:1453-1489 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
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