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Scandal, Protection, and Recovery in the Cabinet

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  • DEWAN, TORUN
  • MYATT, DAVID P.

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that a prime minister benefits from firing ministers who are involved in political scandals. We explore a model in which scandals are positively related to policy activism, so that a prime minister may wish to protect a minister from resignation calls. We find that protection can sometimes discourage activism: it enhances the value of a minister's career and hence encourages him to “sit tight†by moderating his activities. On the other hand, an exogenous increase in exposure to scandals may lead a minister to “live for today†by pursuing controversial policies. The prime minister's ability to protect ministers is limited by her short-term incentive to fire. She may, however, enhance her credibility by building a collective reputation with the cabinet; the heterogeneity of cabinet membership plays an important role.

Suggested Citation

  • Dewan, Torun & Myatt, David P., 2007. "Scandal, Protection, and Recovery in the Cabinet," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 63-77, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:01:p:63-77_07
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    Cited by:

    1. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Just hire your spouse! Evidence from a political scandal in Bavaria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 42-54.
    2. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Just Hire your Spouse! Evidence from a Political Scandal in Bavaria," CESifo Working Paper Series 4813, CESifo Group Munich.

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