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Office-Holding Premia and Representative Democracy

Jan Auerbach
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Jan Auerbach: Department of Economics, University of Exeter

No 1802, Discussion Papers from University of Exeter, Department of Economics

Abstract: I consider a policy issue stylized as redistribution in a representative democracy in which holding o ce o ers an income premium. Predominance of high earners in the legislature likely implies that not a single lawmaker shares the policy preferences of lower- income citizens, because it arises in only two ways. First, chance favors high-income candidates while in the majority of districts, the strict majority of political candidates are lower-income citizens, which seems counterfactual. Second, high o ce-holding premia induce legislators from all backgrounds to oppose redistribution once in o ce. Either legislators are recruited from an elite, or some forget where they came from.

Keywords: Representative Democracy; Legislature; Legislators; Representatives; Repre- sentation; Policy Preferences; Citizen-Candidates; O ce-Holding Premia; Redistribution. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2018
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