Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Re-election Threshold Contracts in Politics

Author(s): Hans Gersbach and Verena Liessem

Publication Date: August 2005

Keyword(s): democracy, elections and threshold contract

Programme Area(s): Public Economics

Abstract: When politicians are provided with insufficient incentives by the democratic election mechanism, social welfare can be improved by threshold contracts. A threshold contract stipulates the performance level that a politician must reach in order to obtain the right to stand for re-election. 'Read my lips' turns into 'read my contract'. Politicians can offer the threshold contracts during their campaign. These threshold contracts do not violate the liberal principle of free and anonymous elections in democracies.

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Bibliographic Reference

Gersbach, H and Liessem, V. 2005. 'Re-election Threshold Contracts in Politics'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.