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Corruption scandals, press reporting, and accountability. Evidence from Spanish mayors

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  • Elena Costas
  • Albert Sole-Olle
  • Pilar Sorribas-Navarro

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

We analyse the effects of local corruption on electoral outcomes with Spanish data. Based upon press reports published between 1996 and 2009, we are able to construct a novel database on corruption scandals and news related to bribe-taking in exchange for amendments to land use plans. Our data show that local corruption scandals first emerged during the 1999-2003 term, but that they peaked just before the 2007 elections. We estimate an equation for the incumbents vote share at this electoral contest and find the average vote loss after a corruption scandal to be around 4%, and the effect to be greater for cases receiving wide newspaper coverage (up to 9%). The effects found for the 2003 elections are much lower. When we consider cases in which the incumbent has been charged with corruption and press coverage has been extensive the vote loss can rise to 12%. However, press reports have a negative impact on the vote even when no judicial charges have been brought.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 255.

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Length: 0 pages
Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2011255

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Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es
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  1. Vaidya, Samarth, 2005. "Corruption in the media's gaze," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 667-687, September.
  2. Christian A. L. Hilber & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2009. "On the origins of land use regulations: theory and evidence from US metro areas," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28702, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2010. "Lobbying, political competition, and local land supply: recent evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2010/45, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  5. Hillman, Arye L. & Swank, Otto, 2000. "Why political culture should be in the lexicon of economics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-4, March.
  6. James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2005. "Political and Judicial Checks on Corruption: Evidence from American State Governments," EPRU Working Paper Series 05-12, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  7. Hongbin Cai & J. Vernon Henderson & Qinghua Zhang, 2009. "China's Land Market Auctions: Evidence of Corruption," NBER Working Papers 15067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Feld, Lars P. & Voigt, Stefan, 2003. "Economic growth and judicial independence: cross-country evidence using a new set of indicators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 497-527, September.
  9. Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman & Reis Soares, Rodrigo, 2001. "Accountability and corruption : political institutions matter," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2708, The World Bank.
  10. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter H. & Seidel, Tobias, 2009. "Common political culture: Evidence on regional corruption contagion," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 300-310, September.
  11. Svaleryd, Helena & Vlachos, Jonas, 2009. "Political rents in a non-corrupt democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 355-372, April.
  12. Mendez, Fabio & Sepulveda, Facundo, 2006. "Corruption, growth and political regimes: Cross country evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 82-98, March.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 11129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Akarca, Ali T. & Tansel, Aysit, 2012. "Turkish voter response to government incompetence and corruption related to the 1999 earthquakes," MPRA Paper 35894, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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