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Abandon ship? Party brands and politicians' responses to a political scandal

Gianmarco Daniele, Sergio Galletta () and Benny Geys

Journal of Public Economics, 2020, vol. 184, issue C

Abstract: Political scandals often trigger responses from voters and the implicated politicians. In this article, we extend the analysis to politicians who are only indirectly affected by a scandal through their affiliation with the involved party. Overcoming endogeneity concerns by analyzing the local implications of the largest national scandal in recent Italian history (“Clean Hands”), our main results show that local politicians withdraw support from incumbents in parties hit by Clean Hands – inducing early government dissolutions in such municipalities. Consistent with these municipality-level findings, we then illustrate that local politicians from the implicated parties exhibit lower re-running rates and higher rates of party switching in the short term. In the medium term, we find that corruption and voter turnout are lower in competitive municipalities ‘treated’ with a mayor from the implicated parties during Clean Hands. Moreover, medium-term upward career mobility of local politicians from the implicated parties benefited from party switching.

Keywords: Accountability; Corruption; Party cues; Brands; Multi-level governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H30 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Abandon ship? Party brands and politicians’responses to a political scandal (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Abandon Ship? Party Brands and Politicians' Responses to a Political Scandal (2017) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104172

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