09/11/2017 Colloquium Series: David Stadelmann Department of Economics, University of Bayreuth:“Politicians Change Their Behavior and Seek the Public Interest after Achieving Office”
Do newly elected politicians correspond to the public interest after achieving political office? We show that politicians change their behavior once changing from one elected office to another. In particular, we analyze behavioral changes once politicians from the Swiss Lower House of Parliament are elected to the Upper House. Public interest and the constitution stipulate that politicians from the Upper House should more closely represent the preferences of their constituency and they should react less to party pressure. We identify these directional behavioral changes of politicians after they achieved office. Our setting allows us to exclude selection effects due to elections: As long as politicians who will be elected to the Upper House remain in the Lower House, they perform statistically identically to other members of the Lower House. However, once in the Upper House, the newly elected politicians perform statistically as if they are members of the Upper House.