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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: published in: German Economic Review, 2016, 17 (2), 127 - 156
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7500
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  1. Tim Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert, 2010. "Managerial talent, motivation, and self-selection into public management," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 654-660, October.
  3. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," NBER Working Papers 14906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Timothy Besley, 2005. "Political Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 43-60, Summer.
  5. Antonio Merlo & Andrea Mattozzi, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," 2005 Meeting Papers 740, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Martín Rossi, 2012. "Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service," NBER Working Papers 18156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
  8. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 350, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. 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.
  10. Johannes Becker & Andreas Peichl & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Politicians’ outside earnings and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 379-394, September.
  11. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert A.J. Dur, 2002. "Signaling and Screening of Workers' Motivation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-050/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 04 Mar 2005.
  12. 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).
  13. Klaas Beniers & Robert Dur, 2007. "Politicians’ motivation, political culture, and electoral competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 29-54, February.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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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