IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do Independent Prosecutors Deter Political Corruption? An Empirical Evaluation across Seventy-eight Countries


  • Anne van Aaken
  • Lars P. Feld
  • Stefan Voigt


It is hypothesized that prosecution agencies that are dependent on the executive have less incentives to prosecute crimes committed by government members that in turn increases their incentives to commit such crimes. Here, this hypothesis is put to an empirical test focusing on a particular kind of crime, namely corruption. In order to test it, it was necessary to create an indicator measuring de jure as well as de facto independence of the prosecution agencies. The regressions show that de facto independence of prosecution agencies robustly reduces corruption of officials. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne van Aaken & Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2010. "Do Independent Prosecutors Deter Political Corruption? An Empirical Evaluation across Seventy-eight Countries," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 204-244.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:12:y:2010:i:1:p:204-244

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heleen Bartelings & Thomas Sterner, 1999. "Household Waste Management in a Swedish Municipality: Determinants of Waste Disposal, Recycling and Composting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(4), pages 473-491, June.
    2. Fullerton, Don & Kinnaman, Thomas C, 1996. "Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 971-984, September.
    3. George L. Van Houtven & Glenn E. Morris, 1999. "Household Behavior under Alternative Pay-as-You-Throw Systems for Solid Waste Disposal," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 515-537.
    4. Bente Halvorsen, 2008. "Effects of Norms and Opportunity Cost of Time on Household Recycling," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(3), pages 501-516.
    5. Hai-Lan Yang & Robert Innes, 2007. "Economic Incentives and Residential Waste Management in Taiwan: An Empirical Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(3), pages 489-519, July.
    6. James D. Reschovsky & Sarah E. Stone, 1994. "Market incentives to encourage household waste recycling: Paying for what you throw away," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 120-139.
    7. Scott J. Callan & Janet M. Thomas, 1997. "The Impact of State and Local Policies on the Recycling Effort," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 411-423, Fall.
    8. Timothy K. M. Beatty & Peter Berck & Jay P. Shimshack, 2007. "Curbside Recycling In The Presence Of Alternatives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 739-755, October.
    9. Jenkins, Robin R. & Martinez, Salvador A. & Palmer, Karen & Podolsky, Michael J., 2003. "The determinants of household recycling: a material-specific analysis of recycling program features and unit pricing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 294-318, March.
    10. Tatsuo Suwa & Takehiro Usui, 2007. "Estimation of garbage reduction and recycling promotion under the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law and garbage pricing," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 8(3), pages 239-254, September.
    11. Bevin Ashenmiller, 2006. "The Effect of Income on Recycling Behavior in the Presence of a Bottle Law: New Empirical Results," Occidental Economics Working Papers 10, Occidental College, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2006.
    12. Saltzman, Cynthia & Duggal, Vijaya G. & Williams, Mary L., 1993. "Income and the recycling effort: a maximization problem," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 33-38, January.
    13. Kinnaman, Thomas C. & Fullerton, Don, 2000. "Garbage and Recycling with Endogenous Local Policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 419-442, November.
    14. Alan Collins & Richard O'Doherty & Martin Snell, 2006. "Household participation in waste recycling: Some national survey evidence from Scotland," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(1), pages 121-140.
    15. Richard C. Porter, 1983. "Michigan's Experience with Mandatory Deposits on Beverage Containers," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 59(2), pages 177-194.
    16. Seonghoon Hong & Richard M. Adams, 1999. "Household Responses to Price Incentives for Recycling: Some Further Evidence," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 505-514.
    17. Hong Seonghoon & Adams Richard M. & Love H. Alan, 1993. "An Economic Analysis of Household Recycling of Solid Wastes: The Case of Portland, Oregon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 136-146, September.
    18. Deborah Vaughn Nestor & Michael J. Podolsky, 1998. "Assessing Incentive-Based Environmental Policies For Reducing Household Waste Disposal," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 401-411, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:133-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2010. "Enforcement and Public Corruption: Evidence from US States," EPRU Working Paper Series 2010-08, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    3. Voigt, Stefan & Gutmann, Jerg & Feld, Lars P., 2015. "Economic growth and judicial independence, a dozen years on: Cross-country evidence using an updated Set of indicators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 197-211.
    4. Jaroslaw Kantorowicz, 2014. "Judges as Fiscal Activists: Can Constitutional Review Shape Public Finance?," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 2, pages 79-104, June.
    5. Voigt, Stefan & Gutmann, Jerg, 2015. "On the wrong side of the law – Causes and consequences of a corrupt judiciary," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 156-166.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:12:y:2010:i:1:p:204-244. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.