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Mediocracy

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  • Andrea Mattozzi

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

  • Antonio Merlo

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper, we study the initial recruitment of individuals in the political sector. We propose an equilibrium model of political recruitment by a party who faces competition for political talent from the lobbying sector. We show that a political party may deliberately choose to recruit only mediocre politicians, in spite of the fact that it could afford to recruit better individuals who would like to become politicians. We argue that this finding may contribute to explain the observation that in many countries the political class is mostly composed of mediocre people.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Mediocracy," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-007, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:07-007
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2007. "Outside Income and Moral Hazard: The Elusive Quest for Good Politicians," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-164, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    2. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2008. "Political careers or career politicians?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 597-608.
    3. 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.
    4. Becker, Johannes & Peichl, Andreas & Rincke, Johannes, 2008. "Politicians' Outside Earnings and Political Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 3902, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Johannes Becker & Andreas Peichl & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Politicians’ outside earnings and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 379-394, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    politicians; parties; political recruitment;

    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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