Political and Judicial Checks on Corruption: Evidence from American State Governments
AbstractThe paper investigates the effects of checks and balances on corruption. Within a presidential system, effective separation of powers is achieved under divided government, with the executive and legislative branches being controlled by different political parties. When government is unified, no effective separation exists even within a presidential system, but, we argue, can be partially restored by having an accountable judiciary. Our empirical findings show that divided government and elected, rather than appointed, state supreme court judges are associated with lower corruption and, furthermore, that the effect of an accountable judiciary is stronger under unified government, where government cannot control itself. The effect of an accountable judiciary seems to be driven primarily by judges chosen through direct elections, rather than those exposed to a retention vote following appointment.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 05-12.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
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separation of powers; corruption; rent seeking; checks and balances; political institutions; judicial independence; rule of law;
Other versions of this item:
- James E. Alt & David D. Lassen, 2008. "Political And Judicial Checks On Corruption: Evidence From American State Governments," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 33-61, 03.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-10-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2005-10-04 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2005-10-04 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2005-10-04 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-REG-2005-10-04 (Regulation)
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- Elena Costas & Albert Sole-Olle & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2011.
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- Brown, David S. & Touchton, Michael & Whitford, Andrew, 2011. "Political Polarization as a Constraint on Corruption: A Cross-national Comparison," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1516-1529, September.
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- Adriana Cordis, 2009. "Judicial checks on corruption in the United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 375-401, November.
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