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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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File URL: http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/economics/working_papers/pdffiles/dp12624.pdf
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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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  10. Francesco Giovannoni, 2012. "Corruption and Power in Democracies," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK 12/624, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  11. Robert E. Goodin & Rupert Sausgruber & Werner Güth, . "When to Coalesce: Early versus Late Coalition Announcement in an Experimental Democracy," Papers on Strategic Interaction, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group 2005-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
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  14. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Kalyan Chatterjee & Tomas Sjostrom, 2009. "Pre-Electoral Coalitions and Post-Election Bargaining," Discussion Papers, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham 09-10, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  15. Seidmann, Daniel J., 2008. "Perverse committee appointments may foster divide and rule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 448-455, April.
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  17. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
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  22. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. " Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-36, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Testa, Cecilia, 2012. "Is polarization bad?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1104-1118.
  2. Francesco Giovannoni & Daniel Seidmann, 2014. "Corruption and power in democracies," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 707-734, March.

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