Private Returns to Public Office

49 Pages Posted: 19 May 2012 Last revised: 11 Jun 2012

See all articles by Raymond J. Fisman

Raymond J. Fisman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Boston University

Florian Schulz

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Vikrant Vig

London Business School

Date Written: May 2012

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Fisman, Raymond and Schulz, Florian and Vig, Vikrant, Private Returns to Public Office (May 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18095. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2062728

Raymond Fisman (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Boston University ( email )

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Florian Schulz

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

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Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
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Vikrant Vig

London Business School ( email )

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Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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