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Political Stability, Corruption and Trust in Politicians

  • Ingmar Schumacher

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS, IPAG - Business School)

In this article we develop a dynamic model where an endogenous evolution of trust impacts a politician's choice for bribe-taking and tax re-distribution. The politician obtains utility from net income that comes from his wage income, tax embezzlements and bribe-taking, and he also has incentives for tax re-distribution. The higher the tax embezzlements and the more bribes the politician takes the lower his citizens' trust and the less likely will he be re-elected. We support the evolution of trust with an econometric investigation. We analyze the necessary and su cient conditions, and nd that withholding taxes and taking bribes may be complements or substitutes for a politician, depending on the politician's incentives for tax re-distribution. Without these incentives, tax embezzlement and bribe taking are necessarily substitutes. With su ciently strong incentives, we nd re-distribution and bribe-taking may become complements. Complements implies that the politician, at least partly, increases bribe-taking because this allows him to increase re-distribution, which aids his additional motives for tax re-distribution. Based on comparative statics at steady state we also nd that the higher the politician's wage the lower the bribe-taking and the higher the trust; stronger social capital leads to less bribe-taking and higher levels of trust; improvements in electoral accountability induce a decrease in bribing while trust increases.

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Date of creation: 10 Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00763327
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