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The Political Resource Curse

Author

Listed:
  • Fernanda Brollo
  • Tommaso Nannicini
  • Roberto Perotti
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of additional government revenues on political corruption and on the quality of politicians, both with theory and data. The theory is based on a political agency model with career concerns and endogenous entry of candidates. The data refer to Brazil, where federal transfers to municipal governments change exogenously at given population thresholds, allowing us to implement a regression discontinuity design. The empirical evidence shows that larger transfers increase observed corruption and reduce the average education of candidates for mayor. These and other more specific empirical results are in line with the predictions of the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernanda Brollo & Tommaso Nannicini & Roberto Perotti & Guido Tabellini, 2013. "The Political Resource Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1759-1796, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:5:p:1759-96
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.5.1759
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    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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