Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Wrasai, Phongthorn
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 05-050/1
We develop a simple two period model to study the importance of motivational differences among politicians in describing the role of elections and explaining policy choices. In our model, politicians differ in their motives of running public office. Good politicians care about policies while bad politicians care about rent extraction. Voters want to control politician misbehavior and to select good politicians. We show that reelection concerns may compel a good politician not to implement a socially desirable policy if he sufficiently cares about the future. Second, reelection concerns may induce a bad politician not to undertake a socially undesirable policy. The reason for this is fear of being ruled by another bad politician if unseated. This finding exhibits the disciplining function of elections. A striking result in our paper is that bad politicians may act more in tune with the public interest relative to the good politicians.
Politicians' Motivation
Role of Elections
Policy Choices
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
259.66 kB

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.