Monnery, B. & Phélippeau, E. (2019) : “MPs As Managers: Panel-Data Evidence from Parliamentary Staff in France”, mimeo
In France as in most political systems, Members of Parliament (MPs) receive public funding to recruit and manage personal staff members who assist them in their public-office duties. However, little empirical evidence documents the behaviors of MPs in terms of staff management or their strategies and underlying objectives as political entrepreneurs. In this paper, we offer novel evidence on these issues using a rich monthly panel dataset of all personal staff working for deputies in the current legislature (June 2017 onward) in France. Our econometric analyses, using fixed- and random-effects, show that management styles clearly differ across MPs and, more importantly, that staff members play very specific roles in deputies’ production function, significantly impacting some activities (e.g. social media, written questions, amendment proposal) but not others (e.g. committee attendance, amendment adoption). Implications about the underlying objectives of MPs are discussed.
Le Bihan, M. & Monnery, B. (2019) : “Can Public and Private Sanctions Discipline Politicians? Evidence from the French Parliament”
In October 2009, the French National Assembly introduced monetary sanctions to reduce absenteeism in weekly standing committee meetings. Using a rich monthly panel dataset of deputies’ activity for the full 2007-2012 term, we study the reaction of deputies to (i) the mere eligibility to new sanctions, (ii) the private experience of a
salary cut, and (iii) the public exposure of sanctioned deputies in the media. We find very large disciplining effects of the policy in terms of committee attendance, positive or null effects on other parliamentary tasks, and little evidence of gaming or other unintended consequences.