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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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  1. Francesco Giovannoni & Daniel J. Seidmann, 2008. "Corruption and Power in Democracies," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/192, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Steven J. Brams & Michael A. Jones & D. Marc Kilgour, 2002. "Single-Peakedness and Disconnected Coalitions," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 14(3), pages 359-383, July.
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  17. Robert E. Goodin & Rupert Sausgruber & Werner Güth, . "When to Coalesce: Early versus Late Coalition Announcement in an Experimental Democracy," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  18. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
  19. Myerson Roger B., 1993. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 118-132, January.
  20. Stefan Krause & Fabio Méndez, 2009. "Corruption And Elections: An Empirical Study For A Cross-Section Of Countries," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 179-200, 07.
  21. Daniel Diermeier & Hulya Eraslan & Antonio Merlo, 2003. "A Structural Model of Government Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 27-70, January.
  22. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
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  24. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey., 1987. "Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes," Working Papers 643, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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