Overprotected Politicians

Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 321

CESifo Working Paper No. 2019

18 Pages Posted: 22 May 2007

Date Written: May 2007


This paper argues that politicians are overprotected. The costs of political assassination differ systematically depending on whether a private or a public point of view is taken. A politician attributes a very high (if not infinite) cost to his or her survival. The social cost of political assassination is much smaller as politicians are replaceable. Conversely, the private cost of the security measures is low for politicians, its bulk - including time loss and inconvenience - is imposed on taxpayers and the general public. The extent of overprotection is larger in dictatorial than in democratic countries.

Keywords: Politicians, rational choice, assassination, security, democracy, dictatorship

JEL Classification: D01, D70, H50, J28, Z10

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S., Overprotected Politicians (May 2007). ; CESifo Working Paper No. 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=988000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.988000

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002

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