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Corruption and Voter Participation

Monica Escaleras, Peter Calcagno () and William Shughart ()

Public Finance Review, 2012, vol. 40, issue 6, 789-815

Abstract: The literature on voter turnout focuses on the determinants of the electorate’s vote supply. There is growing recognition, however, that the demanders of votes—candidates, political parties, and interest groups—have strong incentives to invest resources in mobilizing support on Election Day. The authors test the hypothesis that corruption rents increase the value of holding public office and, hence, elicit greater demand-side effort in building winning coalitions. Analyzing a pooled time-series data set of public officials convicted of misusing their offices between 1979 and 2005, we find, after controlling for other influential factors, that governmental corruption raises voter turnout rates in gubernatorial elections.

Keywords: political corruption; vote demand; voter turnout; rent seeking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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