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POLITICAL AND JUDICIAL CHECKS ON CORRUPTION: EVIDENCE FROM AMERICAN STATE GOVERNMENTS

James E. Alt and David Lassen ()

Economics and Politics, 2008, vol. 20, issue 1, 33-61

Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of checks and balances on corruption. Within a presidential system, effective separation of powers is achieved under a divided government, with the executive and legislative branches being controlled by different political parties. When government is unified, no effective separation exists even within a presidential system, but, we argue, can be partially restored by having an accountable judiciary. Our empirical findings show that a divided government and elected, rather than appointed, state supreme court judges are associated with lower corruption and, furthermore, that the effect of an accountable judiciary is stronger under a unified government, where the government cannot control itself.

Date: 2008
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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0343.2007.00319.x

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Working Paper: Political and Judicial Checks on Corruption: Evidence from American State Governments (2005) Downloads
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