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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. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  2. 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.
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  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 7097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2008. "Outside Income and Moral Hazard: The Elusive Quest for Good Politicians," IZA Discussion Papers 3295, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  9. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 597-608, April.
  11. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, 04.
  12. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kotakorpi, Kaisa & Poutvaara, Panu, 2011. "Pay for politicians and candidate selection: An empirical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 877-885, August.
  14. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  15. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  16. 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).
  17. Di Tella, Rafael & Fisman, Raymond, 2004. "Are Politicians Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 477-513, October.
  18. Napari, Sami, 2009. "Gender differences in early-career wage growth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 140-148, April.
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