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Monitoring Corruptible Politicians

Author

Listed:
  • Gustavo J. Bobonis
  • Luis R. Cámara Fuertes
  • Rainer Schwabe

Abstract

Does monitoring corrupt activities induce a sustained reduction in corruption? Using longitudinal data on audits of municipal governments in Puerto Rico, we show corruption is considerably lower in municipalities with timely audits—before elections. However, these municipalities do not exhibit decreased levels of corruption in subsequent audits, even while mayors in these benefit from higher reelection rates. Our results suggest that audits enable voters to select responsive but corruptible politicians to office. Audit programs must disseminate results when they are most relevant for voters—shortly before an election—and ensure that these programs are sustained, long-term commitments.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo J. Bobonis & Luis R. Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2016. "Monitoring Corruptible Politicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2371-2405, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:8:p:2371-2405
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130874
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Xiao Yu Wang & Shuang Zhang, 2016. "The Limits of Meritocracy: Screening Bureaucrats Under Imperfect Verifiability," NBER Working Papers 21963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Chowdhury Mohammad Sakib Anwar & Alexander Matros & Sonali Sen Gupta, 2018. "Tax Evasion, Embezzlement and Public Good Provision," Working Papers 232397285, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    4. Maxime Le Bihan & Benjamin Monnery, 2018. "Can public and private sanctions discipline politicians? Evidence from the French Parliament," Working Papers 1808, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    5. Frederico Finan & Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2015. "The Personnel Economics of the State," NBER Working Papers 21825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Eric Avis & Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2016. "Do Government Audits Reduce Corruption? Estimating the Impacts of Exposing Corrupt Politicians," Textos para discussão 652, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    7. repec:eee:deveco:v:131:y:2018:i:c:p:62-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Horacio A. Larreguy & John Marshall & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2014. "Revealing Malfeasance: How Local Media Facilitates Electoral Sanctioning of Mayors in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 20697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jonathan Lehne & Jacob N. Shapiro & Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India," PSE Working Papers halshs-01349350, HAL.
    10. Lehne, Jonathan & Shapiro, Jacob N. & Vanden Eynde, Oliver, 2018. "Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 62-78.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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