Political Careers or Career Politicians?

39 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2005

See all articles by Andrea Mattozzi

Andrea Mattozzi

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Antonio Merlo

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; Rice University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

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

Mattozzi, Andrea and Merlo, Antonio M., Political Careers or Career Politicians? (December 2005). PIER Working Paper No. 05-032, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=870305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.870305

Andrea Mattozzi

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )


Antonio M. Merlo (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
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215-573-2057 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ssc.upenn.edu/~merloa

Rice University ( email )

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