Moonlighting Politicians: Motivation Matters!
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We study self-selection into politics and effort once in office of citizens with different abilities and motivations in a framework where moonlighting is allowed. We find that high-ability motivated (public-fit) politicians exert higher effort in politics than high-ability non-motivated (market-fit) politicians, and that high-ability citizens, both public-fit and market-fit, may decide to enter politics. We test our predictions using a database of Italian parliamentarians for the period 1996–2006. We find evidence of advantageous selection of both market-fit and public-fit parliamentarians. We also show that public-fit parliamentarians have higher voting attendance and that only voting attendance of market-fit parliamentarians is negatively affected by income opportunities.