American Economic Review: Vol. 95 No. 1 (March 2005)
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A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers
Diermeier, Daniel, Michael Keane, and Antonio Merlo. 2005. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers." American Economic Review, 95(1): 347-373.
Our main goal is to quantify the returns to a career in the United States Congress. We specify a dynamic model of career decisions of a member of Congress and estimate this model using a newly collected dataset. Given estimates of the structural model, we assess reelection probabilities, estimate the effect of congressional experience on private and public sector wages, and quantify the value of a congressional seat. Moreover, we assess how an increase in the congressional wage or the imposition of term limits would affect the career decisions of politicians and the returns from a career in Congress.
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