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Moonlighting Politicians: Motivation Matters!

  • Fedele, Alessandro

    ()

    (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)

  • Naticchioni, Paolo

    ()

    (University of Rome 3)

In this paper we study optimal choices of self-selection into politics and commitment once in office on the part of citizens with heterogeneous abilities and heterogeneous motivations. Politicians can moonlight, i.e., they can work in the market sector while appointed in parliament. Our theoretical framework shows that high-ability citizens may enter politics. Yet while high-ability non-motivated (market-fit) politicians are likely to shirk, high-ability motivated (public-fit) ones are more committed to parliamentary activity. We test our predictions by using a unique database of Italian parliamentarians for the period 1996-2006. We find evidence of advantageous selection of the market-fit and the public-fit politicians in that they both display a pre-election income greater than that of the Italian population. We also show that the commitment of the market-fit parliamentarians in terms of voting attendance is negatively affected by income opportunities, whilst this is not the case for the public-fit ones.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7500.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: German Economic Review, 2015
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7500
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  1. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2003. "Signaling and Screening of Workers' motivation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1099, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Becker, Johannes & Peichl, Andreas & Rincke, Johannes, 2008. "Politicians' Outside Earnings and Electoral Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 2206, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2008. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Antonio Merlo & Andrea Mattozzi, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," 2005 Meeting Papers 740, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
  7. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Martín A. Rossi, 2013. "Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1169-1218.
  8. Besley, Timothy & Folke, Olle & Persson, Torsten & Rickne, Johanna, 2013. "Gender Quotas and the Crisis of the Mediocre Man: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 985, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Heyes, Anthony, 2005. "The economics of vocation or 'why is a badly paid nurse a good nurse'?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 561-569, May.
  10. Klaas J. Beniers & Robert Dur, 2004. "Politicians’ Motivation, Political Culture, and Electoral Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1228, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert, 2010. "Managerial Talent, Motivation, and Self-Selection into Public Management," IZA Discussion Papers 4766, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. repec:dgr:uvatin:20040065 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Political Selection of Public Servants and Parliamentary Oversight," Working papers 2010/08, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  14. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2010. "Moonlighting politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 688-699, October.
  15. Timothy Besley, 2005. "Political Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 43-60, Summer.
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