Accountability and Incentives of Appointed and Elected Public Officials

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The Review of Economics and Statistics. 2018, 100(1), pp. 51-64. ISSN 0034-6535. eISSN 1530-9142. Available under: doi: 10.1162/REST_a_00684
Zusammenfassung

Political agency models suggest that elected public officials choose different policies than appointed officials do. This paper is the first (a) to apply a clean empirical design to study whether the selection rule has a causal effect on public officials’ policy choices and (b) to investigate transmission channels. I exploit a unique setting in Germany, where a reform has created quasi-experimental variation in the selection rule for mayors. As the outcome variable, I use data on grant receipts for highly visible investment projects for which mayors must apply to the state government. Elected mayors attract 7% to 7.4% more grants in election years; for appointed mayors, there is no cycle. Using hand-collected data on mayor characteristics, I find suggestive evidence that although the selection of mayors changes following the reform studied, a likely reason for the observed cycle is that elected mayors have stronger electoral incentives.

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ISO 690HESSAMI, Zohal, 2018. Accountability and Incentives of Appointed and Elected Public Officials. In: The Review of Economics and Statistics. 2018, 100(1), pp. 51-64. ISSN 0034-6535. eISSN 1530-9142. Available under: doi: 10.1162/REST_a_00684
BibTex
@article{Hessami2018-03Accou-41882,
  year={2018},
  doi={10.1162/REST_a_00684},
  title={Accountability and Incentives of Appointed and Elected Public Officials},
  number={1},
  volume={100},
  issn={0034-6535},
  journal={The Review of Economics and Statistics},
  pages={51--64},
  author={Hessami, Zohal}
}
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