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Hurka, Steffen; Obholzer, Lukas and Daniel, William T. (2018): When time is money. Sideline jobs, ancillary income and legislative effort. In: Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 25, No. 5: pp. 651-669

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Moonlighting, the pursuit of (paid or unpaid) sideline jobs by democratically elected politicians, regularly evokes public outcry. This study provides an empirical test of the claim that moonlighting goes hand-in-hand with a lower degree of parliamentary effort. The article draws upon original data on the number of outside jobs and the remuneration received by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) during the seventh legislative term (2009–2014). Controlling for key intervening variables that affect legislative effort, we find that higher ancillary income is associated with lower participation in roll-call votes, but that this relationship is mostly driven by a small circle of heavy moonlighters. However, our analysis demonstrates that representatives with a greater number of outside jobs are also more, instead of less, likely to draft committee reports. The findings have important normative implications and speak to policy debates about the regulation and transparency requirements of outside jobs in legislatures.

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