Capitol Investments: The Marketability of Political Skills by Glenn R. Parker

By Glenn R. Parker

What may you do if, the very day you have been employed, you knew you may be unemployed in as low as years? you'll search possibilities on your present activity to increase a portfolio of talents and contacts so that it will make your self extra appealing to destiny employers. Representatives and senators take into consideration their jobs in Congress during this approach, based on Glenn R. Parker.

While in place of work, participants of Congress plan now not simply for the subsequent election yet for the subsequent degree in their careers. via networking, serving on committees, and championing specific laws, they intentionally acquire human capital---expertise, networks, and reputation---which later will supply them bargaining strength within the task industry. Parker's research of the postelective careers of greater than 2 hundred former contributors of Congress, either U.S. representatives and senators, who've left workplace over the last part century indicates that such strategic making plans typically succeeds. ordinarily, the human capital those politicians accrued whereas in place of work elevated their occupational mobility and incomes power.

Capitol Investments bargains a worldly but available research of the purchase and marketability of political abilities. It means that an wisdom of the alternate in human capital shapes an officeholder's activities up to the will to win one other election.

Glenn R. Parker is special Professor within the division of Political technological know-how at Purdue University.

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Additional info for Capitol Investments: The Marketability of Political Skills (Economics, Cognition, and Society)

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Introduction • 15 attention reduces legislator decisions to immediate, spot-market, quid pro quo transactions, we envision greater complexity induced by considerations of future gain that go beyond the congressional career. Indeed, the study of human capital in politics draws attention away from exclusive focus on how institutions serve in-of‹ce purposes in favor of their relevance for acquiring skills and knowledge with economic returns to politicians in the future as well. Human capital production and the expected returns from it also offer an alternative to conventional explanations for why certain policies seem to dominate the legislative process.

For the most part, legislators might be said to be neither ill-prepared nor, as we demonstrate in chapter 4, poorly trained for future postelective employment. Rational expectations enters our model of politicians’ human capital in another, closely related way. The rather specialized job market for the talents of former politicians creates the expectation that variety in postelective employment will be dif‹cult to come by; hence, many legislators anticipate taking jobs that require specialized political skill sets—that is, lobbying.

What functions do these prominent features of the political landscape play in the production of legislators’ human capital? The simple answer is that all of these factors work in concert to encourage the production and accumulation of human capital. We recognize that these political factors have other functions to perform elsewhere in the legislative process, but this does not preclude their involvement in the production of marketable human capital. Interest Groups Strong theoretical and empirical reasons exist for the belief that lobbyists provide policymakers with valuable information (see, for example, Austen-Smith and Wright 1992; Ainsworth 1993; Austen-Smith 1993).

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