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Self-Policing in Politics : The Political Economy of Reputational Controls on Politicians - Glenn R. Parker

Self-Policing in Politics

The Political Economy of Reputational Controls on Politicians

Hardcover Published: 25th April 2004
ISBN: 9780691117393
Number Of Pages: 192

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Contrary to what news reports might suggest, the majority of politicians behave ethically and are never subject to investigations. Is this because of the elaborate system of rules Congress has constructed to regulate the conduct of its members as well as the fear of electoral reprisal? Drawing on economic literature on the behavior of firms, Glenn Parker answers no. He argues that members of Congress behave ethnically not because of the fear of punishment but because of their concern for their reputations. He draws parallels between politicians and businesses, since both stand to suffer significantly when accused of wrongdoing.

Just as business' poor behavior can cause brand names to be tarnished, prices to plummet, and future business to disappear, dishonest politicians stand to sacrifice the human capital invested in their careers, and premiums for honesty, such as electoral security and prestigious post-elective employment. Parker explores public attitudes toward the behavior of members of Congress and shows how those attitudes shape the way members conduct their professional lives. Written from the perspective of public choice, this book offers a novel approach to the question of how to keep politicians honest.

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"A number of important issues ... are carefully explored in this rich and important analysis."--Gary W. Copeland, Perspectives on Politics

List of Figures and Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
What is Opportunism and How Do We Control It?p. 15
How Reputations Control Cheating in Economics and Politicsp. 38
Problems in the Market for Legislatorsp. 55
Hypotheses, Measurement, and Datap. 71
Constraining Opportunism through Self-Policingp. 85
Reputational Capital and Job Security; or, If Trustworthy Legislators Are at a Premium, Are They Paid One?p. 103
Weaknesses in Reputational Controlsp. 124
Conclusionp. 139
Most Important Characteristic for Legislator to Possess: Examples of Category Contentp. 151
Examples of Categories of Employmentp. 153
Codes for Identifying Faithful Agentsp. 154
Lifetime Judicial Appointments: 1965-1996p. 156
Examples of Prestigious Post-Elective Employment Positionsp. 157
Electoral Defeat and Post-Elective Employment for Senators in the Analysisp. 158
Notesp. 159
Referencesp. 169
Name Indexp. 177
Subject Indexp. 179
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691117393
ISBN-10: 069111739X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 25th April 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.93 x 16.46  x 1.98
Weight (kg): 0.43