Politicians' Motivation, Political Culture, and Electoral Competition

44 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2004

See all articles by Klaas J. Beniers

Klaas J. Beniers

Tinbergen Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2004

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' incentives to behave opportunistically increase with politicians' pay and with polarization of policy preferences. Moreover, 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. Lastly, we show that the mere probability that politicians care about the public interest enables opportunistic politicians to damage the reputation of their competitors. Consequently, efficient policies may be reversed.

Keywords: Politicians' motivation, politicians' pay, political culture, electoral competition, coalition governments, reputation bashing

JEL Classification: D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Beniers, Klaas J. and Dur, Robert, Politicians' Motivation, Political Culture, and Electoral Competition (June 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=557722

Klaas J. Beniers (Contact Author)

Tinbergen Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 8928 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9031 (Fax)

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics ( email )

FEW / H 8-15
P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31-10-4082159 (Phone)
+31-10-4089161 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.few.eur.nl/dur

Tinbergen Institute

Amsterdam/Rotterdam
Netherlands

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
154
Abstract Views
1,081
rank
231,397
PlumX Metrics