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Corruption and Power in Democracies

  • Francesco Giovannoni
  • Daniel J. Seidmann

    ()

According to Acton: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. We study the implications of Acton’s dictum in models where citizens vote (for three parties) and governments then form in a series of elections. In each election, parties have fixed tastes for graft, which affect negotiations to form a government if parliament hangs; but incumbency changes tastes across elections. We argue that combinations of Acton’s dictum with various assumptions about citizen sophistication and inter-party commitments generate tight and testable predictions which cover plausible dynamics of government formation in an otherwise stationary environment.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 08/192.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:08/192
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