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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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. G. Gulsun Arikan, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization: A Remedy for Corruption?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(2), pages 175-195, March.
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    3. Toke S. Aidt & Jayasri Dutta, 2017. "Fiscal Federalism and Electoral Accountability," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(1), pages 38-58, February.
    4. Smyth, Russell & Qian, Joanne Xiaolei, 2009. "Corruption and left-wing beliefs in a post-socialist transition economy: Evidence from China's 'harmonious society'," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 42-44, January.
    5. Guido Tabellini, "undated". "Constitutional determinants of government spending," Working Papers 162, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Myerson, Roger B., 2006. "Federalism and Incentives for Success of Democracy," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 3-23, January.
    7. Fan, C. Simon & Lin, Chen & Treisman, Daniel, 2009. "Political decentralization and corruption: Evidence from around the world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 14-34, February.
    8. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
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    10. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    11. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    12. Olken, Benjamin A., 2009. "Corruption perceptions vs. corruption reality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 950-964, August.
    13. Kunicov , Jana & Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 2005. "Electoral Rules and Constitutional Structures as Constraints on Corruption," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 573-606, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Levels of government; Decentralization; Federalism;

    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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