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Power over Prosecutors Corrupts Politicians: Cross Country Evidence Using a New Indicator

Author

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

Abstract

It is hypothesized that prosecution agencies that are dependent on the executive have less incentives to prosecute crimes committed by government members which, 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne van Aaken & Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2008. "Power over Prosecutors Corrupts Politicians: Cross Country Evidence Using a New Indicator," CESifo Working Paper Series 2245, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2245
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2245.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anne van Aaken & Eli Salzberger & Stefan Voigt, "undated". "The Prosecution of Public Figures and the Separation of Powers: Confusion within the Executive Branch," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2003-1-1062, Berkeley Electronic Press.
    2. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 632-652, November.
    3. Anne Van Aaken & Eli Salzberger & Stefan Voigt, 2004. "The Prosecution of Public Figures and the Separation of Powers. Confusion within the Executive Branch -- A Conceptual Framework," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 261-280, September.
    4. Feld, Lars P. & Voigt, Stefan, 2003. "Economic growth and judicial independence: cross-country evidence using a new set of indicators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 497-527, September.
    5. Danila Serra, 2006. "Empirical determinants of corruption: A sensitivity analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 225-256, January.
    6. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2015. "Fighting corruption or elections? The politics of anti-corruption policies in India: A subnational study," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 1035-1052.
    2. Kodila Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Empirical Survey on the Causes of the Corruption
      [Aperçu empirique sur les causes de la corruption]
      ," MPRA Paper 41484, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Giuseppe Albanese & Marco M. Sorge, 2012. "The Role of the Judiciary in the Public Decision‐Making Process," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 1-23, March.
    4. Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2007. "Wenn Justitia die Hand aufhält - Ursachen und Folgen korrupter Justizbehörden," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(1), pages 65-92, January.
    5. Garoupa, Nuno, 2009. "Some reflections on the economics of prosecutors: Mandatory vs. selective prosecution," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-28, March.
    6. Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt, 2009. "The economic effects of direct democracy—a first global assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 431-461, September.
    7. Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2005. "Consequences and causes of corruption: What do we know from a cross-section of countries?," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-34-05, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption; prosecution agencies; judicial independence and positive constitutional economics;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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