Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 November 2021
Why do public sector employees provide political services? Since the exchange of political support for jobs is sequenced and the law cannot be used to enforce the exchange, patronage contracts leave ample opportunity for deception and betrayal (see Chapter 2). When the political support is expected after the benefit has been received, individuals who receive public sector jobs can always opt to renege on their side of the agreement by refusing to provide the promised support (e.g., Calvo and Ujhelyi 2012; James 2006; Robinson and Verdier 2013).1 Most of the literature argues that clients comply with their side of the agreement – by providing electoral support or broader political support –because of either the threat of punishment or norms of reciprocity. The theory of self-enforcing patronage set forth in this book posits that public employees under patronage contracts provide political services because their incentives are aligned with those of the politician who hired them. Using two survey experiments embedded in the survey of public employees described in Chapter 3, as well as interviews with political brokers, politicians, and public sector employees, this chapter tests this claim – the main empirical implication of the theory.