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Delegation, accountability & legislator moonlighting: Agency problems in Germany

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  • Geys, Benny
  • Mause, Karsten

Abstract

Members of parliament in many countries are legally permitted to execute (un)paid jobs in addition to their political mandate. It is often argued that such moonlighting activities are unproblematic for the chain of democratic delegation and accountability as long as outside interests/earnings are disclosed to citizen-principals; the latter may then sanction (perceived) misconduct through the ballot box. Using principal-agent theory as an analytical framework and the German national parliament as a case study, this paper discusses why the accountability mechanisms of moonlighting disclosure and electoral control are often impaired in practice. We also illustrate that these concerns generalise beyond the German setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Geys, Benny & Mause, Karsten, 2012. "Delegation, accountability & legislator moonlighting: Agency problems in Germany," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-105, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbfff:spii2012105
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Supermajorities and Political Rent Extraction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 65-81, February.
    3. Bernecker, Andreas, 2014. "Do politicians shirk when reelection is certain? Evidence from the German parliament," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 55-70.
    4. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Alexander Stecher, 2015. "Stell doch einfach Deine Frau an! Die Verwandtenaffäre in Bayern – der Untersuchung zweiter Teil," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(20), pages 20-24, October.
    5. Polk, Andreas, 2017. "Lobbyism in Germany: What do we know?," Beiträge zur Jahrestagung 2016 (Witten/Herdecke) 175190, Verein für Socialpolitik, Ausschuss für Wirtschaftssysteme und Institutionenökonomik.

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