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Political Careers or Career Politicians?

  • Andrea Mattozzi
  • Antonio Merlo

Two main career paths are prevalent among politicians in modern democracies: there are career politicians (i.e., politicians who work in the political sector until retirement), and political careers (i.e., there are politicians who leave politics before retirement and work in the private sector). In this paper, we propose a dynamic equilibrium model of the careers of politicians in an environment with a private sector and a political sector, where individuals are heterogeneous with respect to their market ability and political skills. Our analysis provides an explanation for the existence of career politicians and individuals with political careers, and their motivations. We also investigate the effects of monetary incentives and other features of the political-economic environment on the quality of politicians and their careers. We show that an increase in the salary a politician receives while in office decreases the average quality of individuals who become politicians, decreases turnover in office, and may either decrease or increase the average quality of career politicians.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12921.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Publication status: published as Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 597-608, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12921
Note: POL LS
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  1. Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians? Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-009, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 07 Feb 2007.
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  14. Martin J. Osborne & Rabee Tourky, 2005. "Party formation in single-issue politics," Working Papers tecipa-174, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  15. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  19. 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.
  20. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  21. Echenique, Federico & Edlin, Aaron S., 2004. "Mixed equilibria are unstable in games of strategic complements," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1ht651hk, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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  26. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  27. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "An overlapping generations model of electoral competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-379, December.
  28. Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Economics Working Papers 0018, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
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  32. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1992. "The role of party reputation in the formation of policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-121, October.
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  34. Alessandro Gavazza & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2009. "Transparency and Economic Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1023-1048.
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