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Corruption and Power in Democracies

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  • Francesco Giovannoni

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Abstract

According to Acton: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". We study the implications of Acton's dictum in models where citizens vote (for three parties) and governments then form in a series of elections. In each election, parties have fixed tastes for graft, which affect negotiations to form a government if parliament hangs; but incumbency changes tastes across elections. We argue that combinations of Acton's dictum with various assumptions about citizen sophistication and inter-party commitments generate tight and testable predictions which describe plausible dynamics of government formation in an otherwise stationary environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series Bristol Economics Discussion Papers with number 12/624.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:12/624

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Keywords: Corruption; Incumbency; Government Formation;

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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Giovannoni, 2012. "Corruption and Power in Democracies," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 12/624, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Testa, Cecilia, 2012. "Is polarization bad?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1104-1118.

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