Private Returns to Public Office

Published By: BREAD on eSS | Published Date: May, 01 , 2012

The wealth accumulation of Indian parliamentarians using public disclosures required of all candidates since 2003 are studied. Annual asset growth of winners is on average 3 to 6 percentage points higher than runners-up. By performing a within-constituency com- parison where both runner-up and winner run in consecutive elections, and by looking at the subsample of very close elections, a range of alternative explanations for differential earnings of politicians and a relevant control group are ruled out. The “winner's premium" comes from parliamentarians holding positions in the Council of Ministers, with asset re- turns 13 to 29 percentage points higher than non-winners. The benefit of winning is also concentrated among incumbents, because of low asset growth for incumbent non-winners. [BREAD Working paper]. URL:[].

Author(s): Raymond Fisman, Florian Schulz, Vikrant Vig | Posted on: May 18, 2012 | Views(532) | Download (639)

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