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Reelection Incentives and Political Corruption: Evidence from Brazilian Audit Reports

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  • Finan, Frederico
  • Ferraz, Claudio

Abstract

As part of a recent anti-corruption campaign, the Brazilian government began to audit the municipal expenditure of federally-transferred funds. Using these audit reports, we construct a unique data set of political corruption to test whether reelection incentives affect the level of corruption in a municipality. Consistent with a political economy agency model, we find that mayors who are in their second and final term are significantly more corrupt than first-term mayors. In particular, second-term mayors on average divert, R$188,431.4 more than first-term mayors, which is approximately 4 percent of the total amount transferred to municipalities. We also find much more pronounced effects among municipalities where the costs of rent-extraction are lower, and the density of pivotal voters is higher. Our results also illustrate an important trade-off: second-term mayors, while more corrupt, provide a higher level of public goods. As Brazil and other countries continue their decentralization process, our findings promote the need for a better understanding of how local institutions can help reduce the incentives for corruption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19544.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19544

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Keywords: Political Economy;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Campante, Filipe Robin & Chor, Davin & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2009. "Instability and the Incentives for Corruption," Scholarly Articles 4778510, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Hunt, Jennifer, 2007. "Bribery in Health Care in Peru and Uganda," CEPR Discussion Papers 6274, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Raphael Almeida Videira & Enlinson Mattos, 2011. "Ciclospolíticos Eleitorais E Interação Espacial De Políticas Fiscais:Evidências Empíricas Para Os Gastos Com Investimentos, Saúde E Educaçãonos Municípios Brasileiros," Anais do XXXVIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 38th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 043, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  4. Davin Chor & Do Quoc-Anh & Filipe R Campante, 2008. "Instability and Incentives for Corruption," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22070, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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