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The Political Resource Curse

Author

Listed:
  • Brollo, Fernanda

    () (University of Warwick)

  • Nannicini, Tommaso

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Perotti, Roberto

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Tabellini, Guido

    () (Bocconi University)

Abstract

The paper studies the effect of additional government revenues on political corruption and on the quality of politicians, both with theory and data. The theory is based on a version of the career concerns model of political agency with endogenous entry of political candidates. The evidence refers to municipalities in Brazil, where federal transfers to municipal governments change exogenously according to given population thresholds. We exploit a regression discontinuity design to test the implications of the theory and identify the causal effect of larger federal transfers on political corruption and the observed features of political candidates at the municipal level. In accordance with the predictions of the theory, we find that larger transfers increase political corruption and reduce the quality of candidates for mayor.

Suggested Citation

  • Brollo, Fernanda & Nannicini, Tommaso & Perotti, Roberto & Tabellini, Guido, 2010. "The Political Resource Curse," IZA Discussion Papers 4706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4706
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Kuhn & Fernando Lozano, 2005. "The Expanding Workweek? Understanding Trends in Long Work Hours Among U.S. Men, 1979-2004," NBER Working Papers 11895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2007. "Where Does the Time Go? Concepts and Measurement in the American Time Use Survey," NBER Chapters,in: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches, pages 73-97 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1990. "Shirking or Productive Schmoozing: Wages and the Allocation of Time at Work," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 121-1-133-, April.
    4. Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Jay C. Stewart, 1998. "Divergent Trends in Alternative Wage Series," NBER Chapters,in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 293-325 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
    6. James R. Spletzer & Katharine G. Abraham & Jay C. Stewart, 1999. "Why Do Different Wage Series Tell Different Stories?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 34-39, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    government spending; corruption; political selection;

    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
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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