Money, Political Ambition and the Career Decisions of Politicians.

American Economic Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
American Economic Journal. Microeconomics, 2010, 2 (3), pp. 186 - 215
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
We assess the impact of a variety of policies that may influence the career decisions of members of the US Congress. These policies alter incentives to run for re-election, run for higher office or leave Congress, by altering wages, non-pecuniary rewards and career prospects (both in and out of Congress). We find that the effect of most policies varies considerably across different types of politicians. For example, a reduction in the congressional wage would disproportionately induce exit from Congress by "skilled" politicians, Democrats, and politicians who were relatively young when first elected, but not by politicians who most value legislative accomplishments ("achievers"). (JEL D72)
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