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Candidate quality

  • 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
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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. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, November.
  2. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
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  11. Hans Gersbach, 2001. "Competition of Politicians for Incentive Contracts and Elections," CESifo Working Paper Series 406, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
  13. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  16. 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.
  17. Poutvaara, Panu, 2003. "Party platforms with endogenous party membership," Munich Reprints in Economics 19298, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. Gersbach, Hans, 2004. "Competition of Politicians for Wages and Office," CEPR Discussion Papers 4261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Hans Gersbach & Verena Liessem, 2008. "Reelection threshold contracts in politics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 233-255, August.
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  22. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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