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Politicians at higher levels of government are perceived as more corrupt

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  • Abel François
  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon

Abstract

Using an original survey where French citizens were asked to assess corruption at all levels of government, we observe that institutional distance increases perceived corruption. Specifically, municipal governments are perceived as the least corrupt, followed by local governments, senators, deputies, and the national cabinet. The president of the Republic is perceived as slightly less corrupt than the national cabinet, but more corrupt than any other level of government. The relation is robust to alternative specifications, controlling for a series of individual and regional characteristics, and to alternative definitions of the dependent variable. It is not reducible to geographical distance. We observe similar results in other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Abel François & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2018. "Politicians at higher levels of government are perceived as more corrupt," Working Papers CEB 18-013, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/267714
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Levels of government; Decentralization; Federalism;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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