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Political Competition, Electoral System and Corruption: the Italian case

  • Alfano, M. Rosaria
  • Baraldi, A. Laura
  • Cantabene, C.

Economic and political literature widely studied the effects of electoral system on corruption. But very little attention has been dedicated to the role of political competition in explaining this relationship. We hypothesize that the proportionality degree of the electoral system impacts political corruption directly and in a conditional way: through the degree of electoral competition among political parties. The estimation results, on a sample of the 20 Italian regions over 26 years, show that both the direct and the indirect effect matter in explaining corruption. As the electoral system becomes more proportional, corruption directly decrease. This beneficial effect is reinforced by an increase in political competition. If, otherwise, the proportionality degree of the electoral system decreases, direct and indirect effect push corruption in opposite directions. Our findings are robust to different estimation techniques and to other measures of proportionality.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 41480.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41480
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  1. Antonio Acconcia & Claudia Cantabene, 2006. "A Big Push to Deter Corruption: Evidence from Italy," CSEF Working Papers 159, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 May 2008.
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  9. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2011. "Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 144-74, August.
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  13. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
  14. M. Alfano & A. Baraldi, 2015. "Is there an optimal level of political competition in terms of economic growth? Evidence from Italy," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 263-285, April.
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