Abstract and Keywords
Institutions systematically affect which individuals gain positions in the different branches of democratic government. Given agents’ discretion in decision-making, their characteristics matter for policy choices. This perspective on political selection replaces the representative political agent with a heterogeneous set of political decision-makers having different skills and motivations. Selecting political agents becomes a means to align the interests of the elected delegates with those of the citizens. The chapter’s comparative analysis reviews demand- and supply-side conditions in the market for competent and honest politicians. On the demand side, parties and electoral rules (including reservations and quotas) play an important role in determining who is recruited, nominated, and finally elected. On the supply side, various types of compensations are associated with political office. Finally, institutions affecting the attractiveness of a political mandate for people with a specific professional background are considered and related to policy outcomes.
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