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Corrupt Bureaucrats: The Response of Non-Elected Officials to Electoral Accountability

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  • Valsecchi, Michele

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

Modern state bureaucracies are designed to be insulated from political interference. Successful insulation implies that politicians' electoral incentives do not affect bureaucrats' corruption. I test this prediction by assembling a unique dataset on corruption, promotions and demotions for more than 4 million Indonesian local civil servants. To identify the effect of reelection incentives, I exploit the existence of term limits and a difference-indifference strategy. I find that reelection incentives decrease the corruption behaviour of both top and administrative bureaucrats, which constitutes new evidence of the deep, farreaching effects of politicians' accountability on local civil servants. I explore a mechanism where bureaucrats have career concerns and politicians facing reelection manipulate such concerns by increasing the turnover of top bureaucrats. Consistent with this mechanism, I find that reelection incentives increase demotions of top bureaucrats and promotions of administrative bureaucrats.

Suggested Citation

  • Valsecchi, Michele, 2016. "Corrupt Bureaucrats: The Response of Non-Elected Officials to Electoral Accountability," Working Papers in Economics 684, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0684
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/50817
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Elections; Bureaucracy;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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