What Makes Politicians to Work Harder? Inter– Vs. Intraparty Electoral Advantage

Jaroslaw Kantorowicz (Leiden University)
Jaroslaw Beldowski (Warsaw School of Economics)
Lukasz Dabros (Warsaw School of Economics)

Abstract: In this paper we attempt to demonstrate that „security‟ of political tenure leads to lower efforts exerted by deputies and, hence, weaker political performance. We draw on arguments of standard labor market theories asserting that provision of employment protection deteriorates employees‟ performance. The novel approach of this paper lies in the fact that we approximate the security of political tenure by both inter - and intra - party electoral advantage. Whereas the former aspect captures the strength of a deputy‟s party vis - à - vis other parties in a district, the intra - party component measures the advantage of a deputy vis - à - vis deputies from the same party list (co - partisans) . This conceptualization of the security of political tenure is particularly valid in an open - list proportional representation (PR) system, where a p a rty wins s eats based on the collective vo t e s earned by its list and w here seats are distributed within a party list based on the number of votes cast for specific candidates. Based on the data from the lower chamber of parliament in Poland collected for the period 2005 - 2017, w e provide evidence that intra - party electoral advantage seem s to be the most crucial in determining the effort and political perf ormance of deputies. Large advantage of a deputy vis - à - vis his or her co - partisans leads to a decrease in the number of parliamentary speeches, interpellations and statements. The intra - party advantage is also negatively associated with voting presence . It seems therefore that the deputies whose political survival is less uncertain work less hard than the deputies with un secured political „employment‟.