- Journal of Comparative Economics Journal
- December 2021
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
- Incumbents tend to gain solid electoral advantage in many voting systems. In this study, we examine the relationship between salaries prescribed to politicians and the incumbency advantage by exploiting a political wage reform and data from close elections in a proportional semi-open list system in the Czech Republic. We show that higher salaries reduce the average incumbency advantage, as they increase the probability to run again for previously non-elected candidates much more than for incumbents. Still, we find that higher wages improve candidate selection, especially by encouraging repeated candidacy from university-educated incumbents. Higher wages also improve relative positions of re-running incumbents on candidate lists compared to previously non-elected re-running candidates. Our results overall suggest that incumbency per se changes the relationship between political wages and candidate selection.
- electoral selection; incumbency advantage; local elections; political salaries; regression discontinuity