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Wochner, Timo (2022): Part-time parliamentarians? Evidence from outside earnings and activities. In: European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 75, 102224

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I examine how outside earnings relate to absence rates and parliamentary activities using new data for members of seven German state parliaments. The setting is compelling because reforms of disclosure requirements for outside earnings provide finer-grained data, tackling challenges of previous studies. The full sample results do not suggest that outside earnings were overall correlated with absence rates, speeches, interpellations, or group initiatives. I also examine heterogeneity across age cohorts, government and opposition parties, and modes of entry into parliament. MPs who entered parliament via party lists reduce their parliamentary activities the most when they receive higher outside earnings, suggesting that electoral accountability matters for the relationship between outside earnings and MPs' efforts in parliament. Results for subgroups of MPs also point to an increase in parliamentary activities when certain MPs receive higher outside earnings, indicating that high-performing MPs reconcile their side jobs with their parliamentary duties. Outside earnings may therefore give rise to a shift in the focus of MPs' parliamentary work.

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