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Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes

Claudio Ferraz () and Frederico Finan ()

No 2836, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper examines whether access to information enhances political accountability. Based upon the results of Brazil’s recent anti-corruption program that randomly audits municipal expenditures of federally-transferred funds, it estimates the effects of the disclosure of local government corruption practices upon the re-election success of incumbent mayors. Comparing municipalities audited before and after the elections, we show that the audit policy reduced the incumbent’s likelihood of re-election by approximately 20 percent, and was more pronounced in municipalities with radio stations. These findings highlight the value of information and the role of the media in reducing informational asymmetries in the political process.

Keywords: political agency; corruption; transparency; information (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D78 H41 O17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51 pages
Date: 2007-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-dev, nep-pol and nep-reg
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (21) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2008, 123 (2), 703-745

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