Public Choice

, Volume 148, Issue 3–4, pp 547–559 | Cite as

Political competition and politician quality: evidence from Italian municipalities

  • Maria De Paola
  • Vincenzo Scoppa


We use data from Italian local level governments for the years 1985–2008 to investigate whether political competition affects the quality of politicians, as measured by some ex-ante characteristics such as educational level and type of job held. We handle endogeneity problems through an instrumental variable approach using as an instrument for political competition a variable taking into account whether the previous Municipal Council survived until the end of its legislative term. Two Stage Least Square estimates support the view that political competition positively affects politician quality. Results are robust to different measures of political competition and to different estimation strategies.


Political competition Politicians Political selection 

JEL Classification

D72 D78 J45 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of CalabriaArcavacata di RendeItaly

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