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

Listed author(s):
  • Valsecchi, Michele

    ()

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

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    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.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/50817
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    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 684.

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    Length: 56 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2016
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0684
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden

    Phone: 031-773 10 00
    Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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