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Political economy of anti-corruption reform in two-candidate elections

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  • Evrenk, Haldun

Abstract

We analyze the effectiveness of some commonly discussed anti--corruption reforms on political corruption, using a theoretical model of competition between two candidates in a probabilistic voting setup. Candidates, who may differ both in their ability to produce the public good, and popularity with voters, propose a tax rate and a public good level. The budget constraint implies that taxes collected must equal the sum of funds used in public good production plus funds stolen by the elected politician. We identify the conditions under which constitutional constraints on policies, higher penalties for corruption, and higher wages for elected politicians increase (or decrease) voters' welfare. We discuss how the asymmetric information and the rigidity of constitutions reduce the effectiveness of the reforms, and how distributional effects of reforms may reduce the voters' support for a welfare--improving reform. Finally, we argue that effective reforms may not be proposed by both corrupt and honest politicians.

Suggested Citation

  • Evrenk, Haldun, 2002. "Political economy of anti-corruption reform in two-candidate elections," MPRA Paper 1958, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1958
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1958/1/MPRA_paper_1958.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michele Polo, "undated". "Electoral competition and political rents," Working Papers 144, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
    3. AlÌcia Adserý, 2003. "Are You Being Served? Political Accountability and Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 445-490, October.
    4. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    5. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, March.
    6. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evrenk, Haldun, 2008. "On the (In)Effectiveness of Some Commonly Proposed Anti-Corruption Reforms," Working Papers 2008-5, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Agency; Constitutional Design; Political Economy of Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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