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

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  • Elena Costas-Pérez

    ()
    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Albert Solé-Ollé

    ()
    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Pilar Sorribas-Navarro

    ()
    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

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 incumbent’s 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 Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2011/9.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/4/doc2011-9

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Keywords: voting; accountability; corruption;

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  1. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2013. "On the origins of land use regulations: Theory and evidence from US metro areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 29-43.
  2. Svaleryd, Helena & Vlachos, Jonas, 2007. "Political Rents in a Non-Corrupt Democracy," Working Paper Series 698, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 26 Mar 2008.
  3. Albert Sole-Olle & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2010. "Lobbying, political competition, and local land supply: recent evidence from Spain," Working Papers in Economics 248, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  4. Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2003. "Economic Growth and Judicial Independence: Cross Country Evidence Using a New Set of Indicators," CESifo Working Paper Series 906, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.
  6. Hongbin Cai & J. Vernon Henderson & Qinghua Zhang, 2013. "China's land market auctions: evidence of corruption?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(3), pages 488-521, 09.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
  8. Vaidya, Samarth, 2005. "Corruption in the media's gaze," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 667-687, September.
  9. Daniel Lederman & Norman V. Loayza & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Accountability And Corruption: Political Institutions Matter," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 1-35, 03.
  10. Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Ali T. Akarca & Aysit Tansel, 2012. "Turkish Voter Response to Government Incompetence and Corruption Related to the 1999 Earthquakes," ERC Working Papers 1202, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Jan 2012.

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