Discussion paper

DP4261 Competition of Politicians for Wages and Office

We examine a model in which two politicians compete for office and for wages. Their remunerations are either set by the public or are offered competitively by the candidates during campaigns. Our main finding shows that competitive wage offers by candidates lead to lower social welfare than remunerations pre-determined by the public, since less competent candidates are elected or wage costs and tax distortions are higher.


Gersbach, H (2004), ‘DP4261 Competition of Politicians for Wages and Office‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 4261. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp4261