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Politicians' Motivation, Political Culture, and Electoral Competition

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  • Klaas J. Beniers

    () (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

  • Robert Dur

    () (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

We study electoral competition among politicians who are heterogeneous both in competence and in how much they care about (what they perceive as) the public interest relative to the private rents from being in office. We show that politicians may have stronger incentives to behave opportunistically if other politicians are more likely to behave opportunistically. A political culture may therefore be self-reinforcing and multiple equilibria may arise. We also show that politicians’ incentives to behave opportunistically increase with politicians’ pay and with polarization of policy preferences. This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in International Tax and Public Finance .

Suggested Citation

  • Klaas J. Beniers & Robert Dur, 2004. "Politicians' Motivation, Political Culture, and Electoral Competition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-065/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 16 Aug 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20040065
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Fedele & Pierpaolo Giannoccolo, 2020. "Paying Politicians: Not Too Little, Not Too Much," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(346), pages 470-489, April.
    2. Arnold, Felix & Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas, 2014. "Outside earnings, absence, and activity: Evidence from German parliamentarians," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 147-157.
    3. Klaas J. Beniers, 2005. "Party Governance and the Selection of Parliamentarians," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-080/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Alessandro Fedele & Paolo Naticchioni, 2016. "Moonlighting Politicians: Motivation Matters!," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 127-156, May.
    5. Thomas Markussen & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2010. "Serving the Public Interest," NRN working papers 2010-21, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    6. Klaas Beniers & Robert Dur, 2007. "Politicians’ motivation, political culture, and electoral competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 29-54, February.
    7. Kimiko Terai & Amihai Glazer, 2014. "Budgets under Delegation," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2014-007, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    8. Felix Arnold & Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Beeinträchtigen Nebeneinkünfte die politischen Tätigkeiten von Bundestagsabgeordneten?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(18), pages 34-39, September.
    9. Amihai Glazer, 2012. "Handicaps on Timing to Improve Reputation," Working Papers 111210, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    10. Kimiko Terai & Amihai Glazer, 2015. "Principal-Agent Problems When Principal Allocates a Budget," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2015-012, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    11. A. Fedele & P. Giannoccolo, 2013. "Moneycracy," Working Papers wp893, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Denter, Philipp, 2019. "Valence, Complementarities, and Political Polarization," MPRA Paper 97396, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    politicians' motivation; politicians' pay; political culture; electoral competition; coalition governments; reputation bashing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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