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Instability And The Incentives For Corruption

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  • FILIPE R. CAMPANTE
  • DAVIN CHOR
  • QUOC-ANH DO

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between corruption and political stability, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. We propose a model of incumbent behavior that features the interplay of two effects: a horizon effect, whereby greater instability leads the incumbent to embezzle more during his short window of opportunity, and a demand effect, by which the private sector is more willing to bribe stable incumbents. The horizon effect dominates at low levels of stability, because firms are unwilling to pay high bribes and unstable incumbents have strong incentives to embezzle, whereas the demand effect gains salience in more stable regimes. Together, these two effects generate a non-monotonic, U-shaped relationship between total corruption and stability. On the empirical side, we find a robust U-shaped pattern between country indices of corruption perception and various measures of incumbent stability, including historically observed average tenures of chief executives and governing parties: regimes that are very stable or very unstable display higher levels of corruption when compared with those in an intermediate range of stability. These results suggest that minimizing corruption may require an electoral system that features some re-election incentives, but with an eventual term limit. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Instability And The Incentives For Corruption," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 42-92, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:21:y:2009:i:1:p:42-92
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    2. Jung Hur & Rasyad A. Parinduri & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2011. "Cross‐Border M&A Inflows And Quality Of Country Governance: Developing Versus Developed Countries," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 638-655, December.
    3. Campante, Filipe R. & Chor, Davin, 2014. "“The people want the fall of the regime”: Schooling, political protest, and the economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 495-517.
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    7. Quoc-Anh Do & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest: the Role of Population Concentration," Working Papers 01-2009, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    8. Sequeira, Sandra & Djankov, Simeon, 2014. "Corruption and firm behavior: Evidence from African ports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 277-294.
    9. Marcos Chamon & João Manoel Pinho de Mello & Sergio Firpo, 2008. "Electoral rules, political competition and fiscal spending : regression discontinuity evidence from Brazilian municipalities," Textos para discussão 559, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    10. Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor, 2012. "Why Was the Arab World Poised for Revolution? Schooling, Economic Opportunities, and the Arab Spring," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 167-188, Spring.
    11. Aisha Ismail & Kashif Rashid, 2014. "Time series analysis of the nexus among corruption, political instability and judicial inefficiency in Pakistan," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(5), pages 2757-2771, September.
    12. Noel Johnson & Courtney LaFountain & Steven Yamarik, 2011. "Corruption is bad for growth (even in the United States)," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 377-393, June.
    13. Quoc-Anh Doy & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest : the Role of Population Concentration," Governance Working Papers 22076, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    14. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2011. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1274-1311, June.
    15. Paul Niehaus & Sandip Sukhtankar, 2013. "Corruption Dynamics: The Golden Goose Effect," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 230-269, November.
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    17. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2010. "A Centered Index of Spatial Concentration: Expected Influence Approach," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7t0dp4mp828, Sciences Po.
    18. Matei, Ani & Matei, Lucica, 2010. "Anti-corruption strategies in some South-Eastern European states.An empirical study on the impact of the government performance," MPRA Paper 24741, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 2010.
    19. Chamon, Marcos & de Mello, João M. P. & Firpo, Sergio, 2009. "Electoral Rules, Political Competition and Fiscal Expenditures: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Brazilian Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 4658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Matei, Ani, 2006. "Corruption, Transparency and Quality.Comparative Approaches and Judiciary Support," MPRA Paper 19954, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Dec 2009.
    21. Campante, Filipe Robin & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2009. "A Centered Index of Spatial Concentration: Axiomatic Approach with an Application to Population and Capital Cities," Scholarly Articles 4481653, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    22. repec:eco:journ1:2017-04-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption in Local Governments: Evidence from Audit Reports," IZA Discussion Papers 2843, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Coviello, Decio & Gagliarducci, Stefano, 2010. "Building Political Collusion: Evidence from Procurement Auctions," IZA Discussion Papers 4939, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    25. Matei, Lucica, 2007. "Democracy and politics: Romanian mechanisms, realities and electoral developments," MPRA Paper 22440, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Apr 2010.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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