IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Who Is Punishing Corrupt Politicians – Voters or the Central Government? Evidence from the Brazilian Anti-Corruption Program

  • Fernanda Brollo

In 2003 the Brazilian central government (CG) launched an anti-corruption program. Since then municipalities have been randomly selected to be audited on a monthly basis. Evidence in the literature suggests that the probability of re-election of an incumbent mayor decreases as the number of reported corruption violations rises before the municipal elections. By exploiting the exogenous variation in the timing of the release of the audit reports and the Brazilian institutional scheme, this paper sheds light on the mechanisms through which the Brazilian anti-corruption program functions. After the release of the audit reports, municipalities where more than two corruption violations were reported receive 26% fewer transfers from the CG. Total expenditure on infrastructure is also reduced. While the CG increases the amount of transfers to municipalities where the mayor is both affiliated with the partys president and found to be honest, it helps politically aligned municipalities with high levels of released corruption to move through the punishment process more quickly. The effects of the dissemination of corruption information on the probability of re-election of incumbent mayors seem to gradually disappear with time. Yet, when these effects have completely faded and voters have time to feel the consequences of receiving fewer transfers, the probability of re-election of corrupt politicians decreases.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Failed to connect to FTP server Net::FTP: Bad hostname ''. If this is indeed the case, please notify ()

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 336.

in new window

Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:336
Contact details of provider: Postal: via Rontgen, 1 - 20136 Milano (Italy)
Phone: 0039-02-58363301
Fax: 0039-02-58363302
Web page:

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:2:p:703-745 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, . "Electoral Rules and Corruption," Working Papers 182, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Sonin, Konstantin, 2003. "Provincial Protectionism," CEPR Discussion Papers 3973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
  5. Case, A, 1996. "Election Goals and Income Redistribution : Recent Evidence from Albania," Papers 177, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  6. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2002. "Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9gx7t5hd, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption in Local Governments: Evidence from Audit Reports," IZA Discussion Papers 2843, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  9. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Stromberg, David, 2001. "Mass media and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 652-663, May.
  11. Seabright, Paul, 1994. "Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 259-267, 04/05.
  13. Timothy Besley & Michael Smart, 2005. "Fiscal Restraints and Voter Welfare," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 06, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  14. Picci, Lucio & Golden, Miriam, 2007. "Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994," MPRA Paper 5626, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
  16. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
  17. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2006. "Decentralisation and Accountability in Infrastructure Delivery in Developing Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 101-127, 01.
  18. Hongbin Cai & Daniel Treisman, 2005. "Does Competition for Capital Discipline Governments? Decentralization, Globalization, and Public Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 817-830, June.
  19. Lockwood, Ben, 2005. "A Note on the Hybrid Equilibrium in the Besley-Smart Model," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 727, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  20. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:2:p:678-704 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:189-221 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:336. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.