Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Dynamic Effects of Information on Political Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Puerto Rico

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gustavo J Bobonis
  • Luis R Cámara Fuertes
  • Rainer Schwabe

Abstract

Does the disclosure of information about corrupt activities induce a sustained reduction in corruption? We use publicly released routine audits of municipal governments in Puerto Rico to answer this question. We first develop a political agency model where voters re-elect incumbents based on their performance while in office. We show that, because voters cannot directly observe incumbents’ actions, an incumbent whose reputation improved in the previous term is likely to engage in more rent-seeking activities in a future term. Guided by this model, we use longitudinal data on audit results to examine the long-term consequences of providing information to voters on levels of political corruption. We find that municipal corruption levels in subsequent audits are on average the same in municipalities audited preceding the previous election and those not audited then. In spite of this, mayors in municipalities audited preceding the previous election have higher re-election rates, suggesting that audits enable voters to select more competent politicians. We conclude that short-term information dissemination policies do not necessarily align politicians’ long-term actions with voter preferences as politicians exploit their reputational gains by extracting more rents from office.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-428.pdf
File Function: Main Text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-428.

as in new window
Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 09 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-428

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
Phone: (416) 978-5283

Related research

Keywords: corruption; information; political agency; dynamic incentives;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives from Selection," Working Papers 346, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Martín A. Rossi, 2013. "Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1169-1218.
  4. Andrea Prat & Oriana Bandiera & Tommaso Valletti, 2007. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000100, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Fernanda Brollo & Tommaso Nannicini & Roberto Perotti & Guido Tabellini, 2010. "The Political Resource Curse," NBER Working Papers 15705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Monica Martinez-Bravo & Gerard Padró i Miquel & Nancy Qian & Yang Yao, 2011. "Do Local Elections in Non-Democracies Increase Accountability? Evidence from Rural China," NBER Working Papers 16948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1993. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," NBER Working Papers 4575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fernanda Brollo, 2008. "Who Is Punishing Corrupt Politicians - Voters or the Central Government? Evidence from the Brazilian Anti-Corruption Program," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-168, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  9. Di Tella, Rafael & Fisman, Raymond, 2004. "Are Politicians Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 477-513, October.
  10. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  11. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2012. "Just Rewards? Local Politics and Public Resource Allocation in South India," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 191-216.
  12. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221, February.
  13. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. John A. List & Daniel M. Sturm, 2004. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," NBER Working Papers 10609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 259-267, 04/05.
  16. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Benjamin Olken, 2005. "Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia," Natural Field Experiments 00317, The Field Experiments Website.
  18. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Matthew Gentzkow & Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Rise of the Fourth Estate. How Newspapers Became Informative and Why It Mattered," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 187-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Pande, Rohini, 2007. "Understanding Political Corruption in Low Income Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 6273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Martina Björkman & Jakob Svensson, 2009. "Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 735-769, May.
  22. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  23. Gordon, Sanford C. & Huber, Gregory A., 2007. "The Effect of Electoral Competitiveness on Incumbent Behavior," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 107-138, May.
  24. Raymond Fisman & Nikolaj A. Harmon & Emir Kamenica & Inger Munk, 2012. "Labor Supply of Politicians," NBER Working Papers 17726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Audits of municipal governments and corruption (Puerto Rico)
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-01-23 10:49:00

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-428. See general 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: (RePEc Maintainer).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.