IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wdi/papers/2005-733.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Businessman Candidates: Special-Interest Politics in Weakly Institutionalized Environments

Author

Listed:
  • Scott Gehlbach

    ()

  • Konstantin Sonin

    ()

Abstract

We initiate examination of the political boundaries of the firm by exploring the phenomenon of ???businessman candidates???: business owners and managers who bypass conventional means of political influence to run for public office themselves. We argue that in-house production of political influence will be more likely in institutional environments where candidates find it difficult to make binding campaign promises. When campaign promises are binding, then a businessman may always pay a professional politician to run on the platform that political competition would otherwise compel the businessman to adopt. In contrast, when commitment to a campaign platform is impossible, then candidate identity matters for the policies that will be adopted ex post, implying that a businessman may choose to run for office if the stakes are sufficiently large. We illustrate our arguments through discussion of gubernatorial elections in postcommunist Russia, where businessmen frequently run for public office, institutions to encourage elected officials to keep their campaign promises are weak, and competition for rents is intense.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Gehlbach & Konstantin Sonin, 2004. "Businessman Candidates: Special-Interest Politics in Weakly Institutionalized Environments," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp733, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2005-733
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/40119/3/wp733.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Witold J. Henisz & Edward D. Mansfield, 2015. "Votes and Vetoes: The Political Determinants of Commercial Openness," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE, chapter 8, pages 145-167 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Haan, Marco & Volkerink, Bjorn, 2001. "A runoff system restores the principle of minimum differentiation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 157-162, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "The Politics of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 667-690, September.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
    6. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    7. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
    8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    10. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:01:p:33-47_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
    13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    14. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    15. Henisz, Witold J. & Zelner, Bennet A., 2006. "Interest Groups, Veto Points, and Electricity Infrastructure Deployment," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 263-286, January.
    16. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    17. Martin J. Osborne, 1995. "Spatial Models of Political Competition under Plurality Rule: A Survey of Some Explanations of the Number of Candidates and the Positions They Take," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 261-301, May.
    18. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82.
    19. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    20. Geeta Batra & Daniel Kaufmann & Andrew H. W. Stone, 2003. "Investment Climate Around the World : Voices of the Firms from the World Business Environment Survey," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15143.
    21. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:03:p:567-576_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    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. Yasushi Asako, 2015. "Partially Binding Platforms: Campaign Promises vis-à-vis Cost of Betrayal," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 322-353, September.
    3. Jochimsen, Beate & Thomasius, Sebastian, 2014. "The perfect finance minister: Whom to appoint as finance minister to balance the budget," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 390-408.
    4. Shurchkov, Olga, 2012. "New elites and their influence on entrepreneurial activity in Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 240-255.
    5. Rohini Pande & Timothy Besley & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality of Evidence: Evidence form South India," Working Papers id:261, eSocialSciences.
    6. Serguey Braguinsky, 2009. "Postcommunist Oligarchs in Russia: Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 307-349, May.
    7. Braendle, Thomas & Stutzer, Alois, 2016. "Selection of public servants into politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 696-719.
    8. Pande, Rohini, 2008. "Understanding Political Corruption in Low Income Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    9. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Disclosure by Politicians," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 179-209, April.
    10. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Qualilty of Government: Evidence from South India," Working Papers 921, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    11. Florian Neumeier, 2015. "Do Businessmen Make Good Governors?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201519, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Ulrich Matter & Alois Stutzer, 2015. "The Role of Lawyer-Legislators in Shaping the Law: Evidence from Voting on Tort Reforms," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 357-384.
    13. repec:kap:empiri:v:44:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10663-017-9377-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Timothy Besley, 2005. "Political Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 43-60, Summer.
    15. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:368-386 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Timothy Besley & Jose G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal‐Querol, 2011. "Do Educated Leaders Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(554), pages 205-205, August.
    17. Evgeny Yakovlev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2007. "Deregulation of Business," Working Papers w0097, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    18. Daniel Muller & Lionel Page, 2016. "Born leaders: political selection and the relative age effect in the US Congress," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(3), pages 809-829, June.
    19. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:1:p:22-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. C. Simon Fan & Chen Lin & Daniel Treisman, 2010. "Embezzlement Versus Bribery," NBER Working Papers 16542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Businessman candidates; elections; citizen candidates; institutions; political economy;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2005-733. 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: (WDI). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/wdumius.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.