Labor Supply of Politicians
We examine the labor supply of politicians using data on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). We exploit the introduction of a law that equalized MEPs' salaries, which had previously differed by as much as a factor of ten. Doubling an MEP's salary increases the probability of running for reelection by 23 percentage points and increases the logarithm of the number of parties that field a candidate by 29 percent of a standard deviation. A salary increase has no discernible impact on absenteeism or shirking from legislative sessions; in contrast, non-pecuniary motives, proxied by home-country corruption, substantially impact the intensive margin of labor supply. Finally, an increase in salary lowers the quality of elected MEPs, measured by the selectivity of their undergraduate institutions.
This work is supported by the William Ladany Faculty Research Fund at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Center for International Business Education and Research at Columbia University. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Raymond Fisman & Nikolaj A. Harmon & Emir Kamenica & Inger Munk, 2015. "LABOR SUPPLY OF POLITICIANS," Journal of the European Economic Association, vol 13(5), pages 871-905. citation courtesy of