NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Time to Make Laws and a Time to Fundraise? On the Relation between Salaries and Time Use for State Politicians

Mitchell Hoffman, Elizabeth Lyons

NBER Working Paper No. 22571
Issued in August 2016
NBER Program(s):Law and Economics, Labor Studies, Public Economics, Political Economy, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Paying higher salaries is often believed to enhance worker effort, leading workers to work harder to avoid getting fired. However, workers may also respond to higher salaries by focusing on tasks that most directly affect getting fired (as opposed to those that contribute most to productivity). We explore these issues by analyzing the relationship between the level of compensation and time use for US state legislators. Using data on time use and legislator salaries, we show that higher salary is associated with legislators spending more time on fundraising. In contrast, higher salary is also associated with less time spent on legislative activities and has no clear relation to time spent on constituent services. Subgroup analysis broadly supports our interpretation of the data.

download in pdf format
   (581 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22571

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Larson, List, and Metcalfe w22605 Can Myopic Loss Aversion Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment with Professional Traders
Borjas and Katz The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States
Cappelli and Won w22604 How You Pay Affects How You Do: Financial Aid Type and Student Performance in College
Morse, Wang, and Wu w22597 Executive Lawyers: Gatekeepers or Strategic Officers?
Cespedes and Velasco w18569 Macroeconomic Performance During Commodity Price Booms and Busts
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us