Hierarchies and Promotions in Political Institutions: Accountability and Selection

24 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2017

See all articles by Pablo Montagnes

Pablo Montagnes

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies

Junyan Jiang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Government & Public Administration

Stephane Wolton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Date Written: April 11, 2017

Abstract

Hierarchies are pervasive in political settings. From judges to elected politicians, from activists to bureaucrats, political agents compete to be promoted to higher positions. This paper studies political tournaments and their impact on key aspects of political performance: accountability and selection. While greater tournament size discourages effort, it improves selection. We also discuss the optimal design of tournament as a function of the principal’s objectives and features of the environment. We find that tournaments of size two (such as two-candidate elections) are generally suboptimal. Our analysis also highlights that more desirable promotion always increases effort, but reduces the optimal tournament size under some conditions. Our paper provides a host of other comparative statics.

Keywords: Tournaments, Optimal Hierarchies, Promotion, Selection, Effort

JEL Classification: D70, D71, D73, D02, D23, D86

Suggested Citation

Montagnes, Pablo and Jiang, Junyan and Wolton, Stephane, Hierarchies and Promotions in Political Institutions: Accountability and Selection (April 11, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2951224 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2951224

Pablo Montagnes (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Junyan Jiang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Government & Public Administration ( email )

Third Floor, T. C. Cheng Building
United College
Shatin
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://www.junyanjiang.com

Stephane Wolton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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