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, Parliamentary System, Political Selection

Using a rich database on local politicians in Italian municipalities between 1985 and 1992, we implement a regression-discontinuity analysis to evaluate the causal effect of monetary incentives on the characteristics of politicians in local parliamentary systems. We find that higher expected wages result in more educated member of the local council (+0.8 years of schooling), but not in more educated mayors. While low-wage councils tend to elect mayors who are on average 1.5 years more educated than the mean councillor, this difference vanishes in high-wage councils. This finding is not solely explained by a ceiling effect, as council-elected mayors turn up being less educated in high-wage than in low-wage councils (-0.9 years). Our results highlight that the positive impacts of monetary incentives can be undone or even reversed in the parliamentary stage of the election process. More generally, they suggest that the effects of monetary incentives are not invariant across different institutional setting.

Citation Key7324
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