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How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru

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  • John McMillan

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

  • Pablo Zoido

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

Abstract

Which of the democratic checks and balances—opposition parties, the judiciary, a free press—is the most forceful? Peru has the full set of democratic institutions. In the 1990s, the secret-police chief Montesinos systematically undermined them all with bribes. We quantify the checks using the bribe prices. Montesinos paid a television-channel owner about 100 times what he paid a judge or a politician. One single television channel’s bribe was five times larger than the total of the opposition politicians’ bribes. By revealed preference, the strongest check on the government’s power was the news media.

Suggested Citation

  • John McMillan & Pablo Zoido, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," Discussion Papers 03-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:03-030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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