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Private Returns to Public Office

  • Raymond Fisman
  • Florian Schulz
  • Vikrant Vig

We study the wealth accumulation of Indian parliamentarians using public disclosures required of all candidates since 2003. Annual asset growth of winners is on average 3 to 6 percentage points higher than runners-up. By performing a within-constituency comparison where both runner-up and winner run in consecutive elections, and by looking at the subsample of very close elections, we rule out a range of alternative explanations for differential earnings of politicians and a relevant control group. The ``winner's premium" comes from parliamentarians holding positions in the Council of Ministers, with asset returns 13 to 29 percentage points higher than non-winners. The benefit of winning is also concentrated among incumbents, because of low asset growth for incumbent non-winners.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18095.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18095
Note: CF LE LS PE POL
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