Money, Political Ambition, and the Career Decisions of Politicians
In this paper we assess the impact of a variety of policies that may influence the career decisions of members of the U.S. Congress, using the empirical framework of Diermeier, Keane and Merlo (2005). These policies alter incentives to run for re-election, run for higher office or leave Congress, by altering wages, nonpecuniary rewards and career prospects (both in and out of Congress). We find that reducing the relative wage of politicians would substantially reduce the duration of congressional careers. Notably, however, the effect varies considerably across different types of politicians. A reduction in the congressional wage would disproportionately induce exit from Congress by “skilled” politicians, Democrats, politicians who were relatively young when first elected, and those without pre-congressional political experience. Interestingly, however, it would not cause the type of politicians who most value legislative accomplishments (“achievers”) to disproportionately exit Congress. Thus, wage reductions would not reduce the “quality” composition of Congress in this sense. Term limits also have similar effects on achievers and non-achievers. However, we find that term limits would disproportionately induce members of the majority party to exit Congress. This has the interesting implication that term limits make it more difficult to sustain substantial congressional majorities over time. We do find three types of policies that disproportionately induce nonachievers to leave Congress: (i) elimination of seniority as a determinant of key committee assignments, (ii) restricting private sector employment after leaving Congress, and (iii) reducing the seniority advantage in elections.
|Date of creation:||01 May 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104|
Web page: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/pier
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003.
246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Ernesto Dal Bo & Pedro Dal Bo & Jason Snyder, .
2006-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2005.
"A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 347-373, March.
- 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.
- Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Mattozzi, Andrea & Merlo, Antonio, 2007.
"Political Careers or Career Politicians?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6164, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Antonio Merlo & Andrea Mattozzi, 2005. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," 2005 Meeting Papers 740, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Andrea Mattozzi & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Political Careers or Career Politicians?," NBER Working Papers 12921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2000.
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics
134, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Buying the Bums Out: What's the Dollar Value of a Seat in Congress?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9923, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pen:papers:07-016. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dolly Guarini)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.