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Political Careers or Career Politicians?

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea Mattozzi

    (Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

  • Antonio Merlo

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

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 a political economy with a private sector and a political sector, where individuals are heterogeneous with respect to their market ability and political skills. We characterize the conditions under which the two career paths emerge in equilibrium, and investigate the effects of monetary incentives and other features of the political-economic environment on the quality of politicians and their careers. Our analysis also provides a rationale for the existence and the survival of political parties.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    politicians; parties; careers in politics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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