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Hurka, Steffen; Daniel, William T. and Obholzer, Lukas (2018): Determinants of moonlighting in the European Parliament. In: Journal of Legislative Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1: pp. 127-147

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In recent years, several national parliaments have introduced stricter rules for the disclosure of additional sources of income earned by their legislators. In this context of better data availability, the phenomenon of ‘moonlighting’ politicians (legislators who pursue paid or unpaid jobs next to their political mandate) has attracted increased public and scientific attention. Since 2011, the European Parliament (EP) has required its parliamentarians (MEPs) to make their additional earnings public if they exceed a certain threshold. So far, however, the determinants of varying numbers of outside jobs and associated ancillary income have not been analysed for the EP. The authors seek to fill this lacuna by building upon a new data set of moonlighting activities for all MEPs holding a mandate during the seventh term of the institution (2009–2014). Specifically, the authors assess the extent to which individual-level factors such as gender, ideology, experience and education help to account for varying degrees of moonlighting among MEPs and whether national-level factors such as economic development and electoral systems play a role. The findings suggest that moonlighting is particularly prevalent among MEPs from conservative and liberal groups, while the level of outside income that MEPs accrue is additionally related to gender and education.

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