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Pay for politicians and candidate selection: An empirical analysis

  • Kotakorpi, Kaisa
  • Poutvaara, Panu

A growing theoretical literature on the effect of politicians’ salaries on the average level of skills of political candidates yields ambiguous predictions. In this paper, we estimate the effect of pay for politicians on the level of education of parliamentary candidates. We take advantage of an exceptional reform where the salaries of Finnish MPs were increased by 35\% in the year 2000, intended to make the pay for parliamentarians more competitive. A difference-in-differences analysis, using candidates in municipal elections as a control group, suggests that the higher salary increased the fraction of candidates with higher education among female candidates, while we find no significant effect for male candidates.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19489.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economics 7-8 95(2011): pp. 877-885
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19489
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  1. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  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. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
  5. Kotakorpi, Kaisa & Poutvaara, Panu, 2011. "Pay for politicians and candidate selection: An empirical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 877-885.
  6. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  7. 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.
  8. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2007. "Outside Income and Moral Hazard: The Elusive Quest for Good Politicians," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-164, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  9. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. 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.
  11. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2002. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-037, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2004.
  12. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  13. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2010. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives from Selection," CEIS Research Paper 162, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
  15. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  16. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  17. Napari, Sami, 2009. "Gender differences in early-career wage growth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 140-148, April.
  18. Rafael Di Tella & Raymond Fisman, 2002. "Are Politicians Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," NBER Working Papers 9165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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