[gov3009-l] Andy Eggers and Jens Hainmueller on 'Estimating Returns to Office in Post-War British Politics'

Justin Grimmer jgrimmer at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Mar 10 10:41:45 EDT 2008

Dear Applied Statistics Community

This Wednesday we are excited to welcome Andy Eggers and Jens Hainmueller,
Government Department, Harvard University, who will present, "MPs for Sale?
Estimating Returns to
Office in Post-War British Politics'.  Andy and Jens provided the following

While the role of money in policymaking is a central question in political
economy research, surprisingly little attention has been given to the rents
politicians actually make from politics. Using an original dataset on the
size of British politicians' estates, we find that gaining a seat in the
House of Commons had a large effect on personal wealth: Conservative Party
MPs died with almost twice as much money, on average, as very similar
Parliamentary candidates who were defeated. We find no financial benefits
for candidates from the Labour party. We argue that Conservative MPs
profited from office in a lax regulatory environment by using their
political positions to obtain outside work as directors, consultants, and
lobbyists, both while in office and after retirement. Our results are
consistent with anecdotal evidence on MPs' outside financial dealings but
suggest that the magnitude of influence peddling was larger than has been

The paper is available here:

The applied statistics workshop meets in room N-354 in CGIS-Knafel, 1737
Cambridge st.  The workshop begins at 12 noon with a light lunch, with
presentations usually beginning around 1215.

Please contact me with any questions
Justin Grimmer
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