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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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  16. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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  18. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, November.
  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.
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