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Does corruption erode trust in government? Evidence from a recent surge of local scandals in Spain

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Listed:
  • Albert Solé-Ollé

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Pilar Sorribas-Navarro

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

Abstract

We examine whether a corruption scandal in which the incumbent is implicated undermines trust in local government. We use a novel dataset containing information on local corruption scandals reported in Spain during the period 1999-2009, and data on the level of trust expressed in local politicians drawn from a new survey conducted in late 2009. We use matching methods to improve the identification of the effect of corruption scandals on trust, comparing municipalities affected by a scandal with those presenting similar traits but in which no scandal had been reported. We find that corruption scandals have a marked negative effect on trust in local politicians. This effect is even more marked in the case of individuals that have no ideological attachment to the party accused of corruption and/or who obtain their information from the media. Several falsification tests, based on a sample of corruption scandals reported after the survey had been conducted, confirm the causal interpretation of these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Solé-Ollé & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2014. "Does corruption erode trust in government? Evidence from a recent surge of local scandals in Spain," Working Papers 2014/26, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-26
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    Cited by:

    1. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Just hire your spouse! Evidence from a political scandal in Bavaria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 42-54.
    2. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Supermajorities and Political Rent Extraction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 65-81, February.
    3. Marcos Alvarez Diaz & Gonzalo Caballero Miguez & Baltasar Manzano González & José M. Martín Moreno, 2015. "Assessment of Political Situation over the Business Cycle in Spain: A Time Series Analysis," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 213(2), pages 41-62, June.
    4. Niklas Potrafke & Felix Rösel, 2016. "A Banana Republic? Trust in Electoral Institutions in Western Democracies - Evidence from a Presidential Election in Austria," CESifo Working Paper Series 6254, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; trust;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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