Private Returns to Public Office
We study the wealth accumulation of Indian parliamentarians using public disclosures required of all candidates since 2003. Annual asset growth of winners is on average 3 to 6 percentage points higher than runners-up. By performing a within-constituency comparison where both runner-up and winner run in consecutive elections, and by looking at the subsample of very close elections, we rule out a range of alternative explanations for differential earnings of politicians and a relevant control group. The ``winner's premium" comes from parliamentarians holding positions in the Council of Ministers, with asset returns 13 to 29 percentage points higher than non-winners. The benefit of winning is also concentrated among incumbents, because of low asset growth for incumbent non-winners.
We would like to thank Patrick Bolton, Ben Olken and seminar participants at the LSE-UCL development workshop, Columbia and Warwick University. In addition, Vikrant Vig would like to thank the RAMD research grant at the London Business School for their generous support. Kyle Matoba and Jane Zhao provided excellent research assistance. 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 & Florian Schulz & Vikrant Vig, 2014. "The Private Returns to Public Office," Journal of Political Economy, vol 122(4), pages 806-862.