Money, political ambition, and the career decisions of politicians

Michael P. Keane, Antonio Merlo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We assess the impact of a variety of policies that may influence the career decisions of members of the US Congress. These policies alter incentives to run for re-election, run for higher office or leave Congress, by altering wages, non-pecuniary rewards and career prospects (both in and out of Congress). We find that the effect of most policies varies considerably across different types of politicians. For example, a reduction in the congressional wage would disproportionately induce exit from Congress by "skilled" politicians, Democrats, and politicians who were relatively young when first elected, but not by politicians who most value legislative accomplishments ("achievers").

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)186-215
    Number of pages30
    JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Microeconomics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Money, political ambition, and the career decisions of politicians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this