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CORRUPTION AND ELECTIONS: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY FOR A CROSS‐SECTION OF COUNTRIES

Stefan Krause Montalbert and Fabio Mendez ()

Economics and Politics, 2009, vol. 21, issue 2, 179-200

Abstract: In this paper, we study whether voters are more likely to “vote out” a corrupt incumbent than to re‐elect him. Specifically, we examine whether they retract their support from political candidates who they think are corrupt by looking at changes in an index of corruption perceptions between the current and the last elections. Our results suggest that corruption in public office is effectively punished by voters. Furthermore, our findings support the idea that both the political system and the democratic experience are important determinants of the voters' reaction and control of corruption; while voters in countries with parliamentary systems or with relatively low levels of democracy react negatively to an increase in corruption, no perceptible effect of this kind was found in countries with mature democracies, and the evidence is inconclusive in the case of countries with presidential systems.

Date: 2009
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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0343.2008.00341.x

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