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- Journal Article
A returning political phenomenon is the impact of "office seekers" in democracies. We examine the consequences when the public faces a new type of two-dimensional uncertainty: whether a politician is competent, and whether a politician is concerned about the consequences of public utility decisions (statesman) or about public opinion (office seeker). We identify new timing distortions, as both competent and incompetent office seekers may take hasty or excessively delayed decisions in order to imitate statesmen or competent office holders. Thus, the public may benefit by disregarding the candidates' competence and by reelecting candidates based solely on its belief as to whether a politician is a statesman. This "curse of competence" may explain why politicians are so concerned about being perceived as statesmen and why we may expect the largest distortions for credence policies. Show more
Journal / seriesPublic Choice
SubjectOffice seekers; Statesmen; Curse of competence; Credence policies; Double-sided asymmetric information
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