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Labor Supply of Politicians

Author

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  • Raymond Fisman
  • Nikolaj A. Harmon
  • Emir Kamenica
  • Inger Munk

Abstract

We examine the labor supply of politicians using data on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). We exploit the introduction of a law that equalized MEPs' salaries, which had previously differed by as much as a factor of ten. Doubling an MEP's salary increases the probability of running for reelection by 23 percentage points and increases the logarithm of the number of parties that field a candidate by 29 percent of a standard deviation. A salary increase has no discernible impact on absenteeism or shirking from legislative sessions; in contrast, non-pecuniary motives, proxied by home-country corruption, substantially impact the intensive margin of labor supply. Finally, an increase in salary lowers the quality of elected MEPs, measured by the selectivity of their undergraduate institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond Fisman & Nikolaj A. Harmon & Emir Kamenica & Inger Munk, 2012. "Labor Supply of Politicians," NBER Working Papers 17726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17726
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 597-608, April.
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    5. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
    6. Mocan, Naci & Altindag, Duha T., 2011. "Is Leisure a Normal Good? Evidence from the European Parliament," IZA Discussion Papers 5949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2007. "Democratic politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7744, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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      • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Braendle, Thomas, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics?," Working papers 2013/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    2. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Luis R. Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2016. "Monitoring Corruptible Politicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2371-2405, August.
    3. Felix Arnold & Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Beeinträchtigen Nebeneinkünfte die politischen Tätigkeiten von Bundestagsabgeordneten?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(18), pages 34-39, September.
    4. Braendle, Thomas & Stutzer, Alois, 2016. "Selection of public servants into politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 696-719.
    5. Duha T. Altindag & Elif S. Filiz & Erdal Tekin, 2017. "Does It Matter How and How Much Politicians are Paid?," NBER Working Papers 23613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Monica Martinez-Bravo, 2017. "The Local Political Economy Effects of School Construction in Indonesia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 256-289, April.
    7. Bernecker, Andreas, 2014. "Do politicians shirk when reelection is certain? Evidence from the German parliament," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 55-70.
    8. Felix Arnold, 2013. "German MPs' Outside Jobs and Their Repercussions on Parliamentary Effort," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1340, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Gustavo J Bobonis & Luis R Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2011. "The Dynamic Effects of Information on Political Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Puerto Rico," Working Papers tecipa-428, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    10. Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2017. "Voters and Representatives: How Should Representatives Be Selected?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    11. Cerina, Fabio & Deidda, Luca G., 2017. "Rewards from public office and the selection of politicians by parties," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-18.
    12. Björn Kauder & Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Electoral Cycles in MPs' Salaries: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6028, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Kai Gehring & T. Florian Kauffeldt & Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati, 2015. "Crime, Incentives and Political Effort: A Model and Empirical Application for India," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 170, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    14. Jones, Daniel B., 2015. "The supply and demand of motivated labor: When should we expect to see nonprofit wage gaps?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-14.
    15. Karsten Mause, 2014. "Self-serving legislators? An analysis of the salary-setting institutions of 27 EU parliaments," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 154-176, June.
    16. Bernecker, Andreas, 2013. "Do Politicians Shirk when Reelection Is Certain? Evidence from the German Parliament," Working Papers 13-09, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    17. Carpenter, Jeffrey, 2016. "The labor supply of fixed-wage workers: Estimates from a real effort experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 85-95.
    18. Raymond Fisman & Florian Schulz & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Private Returns to Public Office," NBER Working Papers 18095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Buisseret, Peter & Prato, Carlo, 2016. "Electoral control and the human capital of politicians," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 34-55.
    20. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:368-386 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Thomas Braendle, 2015. "Does remuneration affect the discipline and the selection of politicians? Evidence from pay harmonization in the European Parliament," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(1), pages 1-24, January.
    22. Raymond Fisman & Florian Schulz & Vikrant Vig, 2014. "The Private Returns to Public Office," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(4), pages 806-862.
    23. Schötz, Lukas, 2016. "Mayor games in Bavaria: Self selection of local politicians is not influenced by constitutionally defined remuneration increases! Quasi-experimental evidence from Germany," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-71-16, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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