Political Selection and Monetary Incentives in Local Parliamentary Systems

TitlePolitical Selection and Monetary Incentives in Local Parliamentary Systems
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsCaria, A, Cerina, F, Nieddu, M
ISBN Number978 88 68513 788
KeywordsLocal Politicians, Monetary Incentives, Moonlighting, Parliamentary System, Political Selection

Using a rich database covering all local politicians in Italian municipalities, we implement a regression- discontinuity analysis to evaluate the causal effects ect of monetary incentives on political selection in local parliamentary systems. We find that higher expected wages lead to the selection of more educated council members and executives, but do not result into better educated mayors. Low-wage councils tend to elect mayors with almost two years more schooling than the median councillor, but this difference vanishes in high-wage councils. We rationalize this finding in a model where better educated councillors shy away from better-paid but full-time positions (such as mayor) and prefer less-paid but part-time positions (executives) that allow them to devote more time to work while in o ce. An analysis by politicians’ occupation and retirement status supports this explanation. Our findings thus highlight that the effects of monetary incentives are not invariant across diff erent institutional settings, especially when the election systems include a parliamentary stage.

Citation Key7324
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