One of the public’s popular beliefs about politics is that politicians engage in rent-seeking behaviors, such as accumulating property, using their political power. By applying a regression discontinuity design, this study examines whether members of the National Assembly of South Korea gained assets during three elective terms (2004–2008, 2008–2012, and 2012–2016). The results contradict the public’s claim. In general, there is minimal evidence that election winners accumulate more assets than runners-up. And observing the winners’ premium for newly elected politicians in the 2012–2016 term, I find that it is related to a political support fund, which is a legitimate channel for politicians’ funding. The results suggest that an information disclosure policy can play a pivotal role in restricting politicians’ rent-seeking behaviors.

This content is only available via PDF.