Are You Being Served?: Political Accountability and Quality of Government
AbstractThis paper explores, both formally and empirically, the political accountability mechanisms that lie behind the varying levels of public corruption and of effective governance taking place across nations. The first section develops a principal-agent model in which good governance is a function of the extent to which citizens can hold political officials accountable for their actions. Although policy-makers may have strong incentives to appropriate parts of the citizens` income, well-designed institutions (those increasing both informational flows and elite competitiveness) boost political accountability and reduce the space left for the appropriation of rents. The following sections of the paper test the model. The presence of democratic mechanisms of control and an increasingly informed electorate, measured through the frequency of newspaper readership, explain considerably well the distribution of corrupt practices and governmental ineffectiveness in three types of data sets: a large cross-section of countries in the late 1990s for which an extensive battery of governance indicators has been recently developed by Kaufmann et al. (1999a); a panel data set for the period 1980-95 and about 100 nations on corruption and bureaucratic quality based on experts` rankings; and corruption data for the cross-section of US states in the period 1977-95.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4241.
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- AlÌcia Adserý, 2003. "Are You Being Served? Political Accountability and Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 445-490, October.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Luis Daniel Martinez) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Luis Daniel Martinez to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.