Incentive Contracts for Politicians and the Down-Up Problem
12 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2000
Date Written: May 1999
Many efficient policies imply a temporary deterioration of GDP while the benefits accrue to voters later. Such policies have a down-up characteristic. We show that voters cannot motivate politicians to invest in down-up policies by their reelection decision. The incumbent either undertakes short-term policies or sticks with the status quo. We show that adding an incentive element to the reelection mechanism can solve the investment problem of down-up policies. If a politician wants to stand for reelection, he must accept that his future income or his future reelection possibilities are dependent on macroeconomic developments. Finally, we comment on practical issues when such contracts are used in election races.
JEL Classification: D72, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation