Paying politicians

Matthias Messner, Mattias K. Polborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider a society that has to elect an official who provides a public service for the citizens. Potential candidates differ in their competence and every potential candidate has private information about his opportunity cost to perform the task of the elected official. We develop a new citizen candidate model with a unique equilibrium to analyze citizens' candidature decisions. Under some weak additional assumptions, bad candidates run with a higher probability than good ones, and for unattractive positions, good candidates free-ride on bad ones. We also analyze the comparative static effects of wage increases and cost of running on the potential candidates' entry decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2423-2445
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Citizen-candidate model
  • Political economy
  • Private provision of public goods
  • Wage for politicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Paying politicians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this