Political Careers or Career Politicians?
39 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2005
Date Written: December 2005
Two main career paths are prevalent among politicians in modern democracies: there are career politicians (i.e., politicians who work in the political sector until retirement), and political careers (i.e., there are politicians who leave politics before retirement and work in the private sector). In this paper, we propose a dynamic equilibrium model of the careers of politicians in a political economy with a private sector and a political sector, where individuals are heterogeneous with respect to their market ability and political skills. We characterize the conditions under which the two career paths emerge in equilibrium, and investigate the effects of monetary incentives and other features of the political-economic environment on the quality of politicians and their careers. Our analysis also provides a rationale for the existence and the survival of political parties.
Keywords: politicians, parties, careers in politics
JEL Classification: D72, J44, J45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation