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Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from US States

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  • Filipe R. Campante
  • Quoc-Anh Do

Abstract

We show that isolated capital cities are robustly associated with greater levels of corruption across US states, in line with the view that this isolation reduces accountability, and in contrast with the alternative hypothesis that it might forestall political capture. We then provide direct evidence that the spatial distribution of population relative to the capital affects different accountability mechanisms over state politics: newspaper coverage, voter knowledge and information, and turnout. We also find evidence against the capture hypothesis: isolated capitals are associated with more money in state-level campaigns. Finally, we show that isolation is linked with worse public good provision.

Suggested Citation

  • Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2013. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from US States," NBER Working Papers 19027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19027
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    1. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do & Bernardo Guimaraes, 2014. "Capital Cities, Conflict, and Misgovernance: Theory and Evidence," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2014-13, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Tom Kirchmaier, 2015. "The Effect of Police Response Time on Crime Detection," CEP Discussion Papers dp1376, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. Tuan-Hwee Sng & Chiaki Moriguchi, 2014. "Asia’s little divergence: state capacity in China and Japan before 1850," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 439-470, December.
    5. Ko, Chiu Yu & Koyama, Mark & Sng, Tuan-Hwee, 2014. "Unified China; Divided Europe," MPRA Paper 60418, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2014. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability, and Corruption: Evidence from US States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2456-2481, August.
    7. Smith, Jared D., 2016. "US political corruption and firm financial policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 350-367.
    8. Julia Cage, 2014. "Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/16juu6v6rg8, Sciences Po.
    9. Quoc-Anh Do & Yen-Teik Lee & Bang Dang Nguyen, 2013. "Political Connections and Firm Value: Evidence from the Regression Discontinuity Design of Close Gubernatorial Elections," Sciences Po publications 15, Sciences Po.
    10. Campante, Filipe R. & Do, Quoc-Anh & Guimaraes, Bernardo, 2012. "Isolated Capital Cities and Misgovernance: Theory and Evidence," Working Paper Series rwp12-058, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    11. Vidal, Jordi Blanes I & Kirchmaier, Tom, 2015. "The effect of police response time on crime detection," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64979, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2014. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability, and Corruption: Evidence from US States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2456-2481, August.
    13. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2599 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Anna & Leonardo Weller, 2018. "Was Cold War A Constraint To Income Inequality?," Anais do XLIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 44th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 94, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    15. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/7o52iohb7k6srk09n0dcia0po is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Agarwal,Sumit & Morais,Bernardo & Ruiz Ortega,Claudia & Zhang,Jian, 2016. "The political economy of bank lending : evidence from an emerging market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7577, The World Bank.
    17. Alberto Alesina & Andrea Passalacqua, 2015. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 21821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Pei Li & Yi Lu & Tuan-Heww Sng, 2017. "Artificial Administrative Boundaries: Evidence from China," CEH Discussion Papers 09, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    19. Perez-Sebastian, Fidel & Raveh, Ohad, 2016. "Natural resources, decentralization, and risk sharing: Can resource booms unify nations?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 38-55.
    20. Jörg L. Spenkuch & David Toniatti, 2016. "Political Advertising and Election Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 5780, CESifo Group Munich.
    21. Remi Jedwab & Adam Storeygard, "undated". "Economic and Political Factors in Infrastructure Investment: Evidence from Railroads and Roads in Africa 1960–2015," Working Papers 2017-3, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    22. repec:hrv:faseco:33078973 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    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
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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