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Candidate quality

Listed author(s):
  • Poutvaara, Panu
  • Takalo, Tuomas

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 University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19785.

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Date of creation: 2007
Publication status: Published in International Tax and Public Finance 1 14(2007): pp. 7-27
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19785
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  1. Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "Toilet cleaning and department chairing: Volunteering a public service," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 299-308, February.
  2. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
  3. Hans Gersbach, 2004. "Competition of Politicians for Incentive Contracts and Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 157-177, October.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Hans Gersbach, 2009. "Competition of politicians for wages and office," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 32(4), pages 533-553, May.
  7. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
  8. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2008. "Reelection threshold contracts in politics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 233-255, August.
  9. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  10. Christian Schultz, 2007. "Strategic Campaigns and Redistributive Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 936-963, 07.
  11. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  12. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
  13. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
  14. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  17. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
  18. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  19. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
  20. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
    • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  21. Poutvaara, Panu, 2003. "Party Platforms with Endogenous Party Membership," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 79-98, October.
  22. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties as Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489.
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