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Mediocracy

  • Andrea Mattozzi

    ()

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

  • Antonio Merlo

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

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.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/07-007.pdf
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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 07-007.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:07-007
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  2. 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.
  3. Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2007. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6164, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó & Jason Snyder, 2007. "Political Dynasties," NBER Working Papers 13122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Martin J. Osborne & Rabee Tourky, 2005. "Party formation in single-issue politics," Working Papers tecipa-174, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2002. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-037, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2004.
  10. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  11. Jackson, Matthew O. & Moselle, Boaz, 2002. "Coalition and Party Formation in a Legislative Voting Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 49-87, March.
  12. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  13. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  14. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  15. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
  16. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  17. Morelli, Massimo, 1998. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes Under Different Electoral Systems," Staff General Research Papers 1242, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  18. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  19. 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.
  20. Levy, Gilat, 2004. "A model of political parties," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 250-277, April.
  21. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  22. Cecilia Testa, 2004. "Party Polarization and Electoral Accountability," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  23. Carrillo, Juan D. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2001. "Electoral competition and politician turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-25, January.
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