IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spo/wpecon/infohdl2441-dambferfb7dfprc9lj6bo200k.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability and Corruption Evidence from US States: Evidence from US States

Author

Listed:
  • Filipe R Campante

    (Harvard University)

  • Quoc-Anh Do

    (Département d'économie)

Abstract

We show that isolated capital cities are robustly associated with greater levels of corruption across US states, in line with the view that spatial distance between citizens and the seat of political power reduces accountability, and in contrast with the alternative hypothesis that keeping distance between the capital and major economic interests might decrease the risk of political capture. In particular, this stylized fact holds when we use the location of a state’s centroid and the spatial distribution of land suitability as sources of exogenous variation for the isolation of the capital city. We then show direct evidence that different mechanisms for holding state politicians accountable are indeed affected by the spatial distribution of population: newspapers provide greater coverage of state politics when their audiences are more concentrated around the capital, voters are less knowledgeable and interested in state politics when they are far from the capital, and voter turnout in state elections is greater in places that are closer to the capital. We find that the role of media accountability seems particularly important in explaining the connection between isolated capitals and corruption. We also find evidence that there is more money in state-level political campaigns in those states with isolated capitals, again contrary to the capture hypothesis. Finally, we provide some evidence that these patterns are associated with lower levels of public good spending and outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Filipe R Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2013. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability and Corruption Evidence from US States: Evidence from US States," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2013-01, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9lj6bo200k
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/dambferfb7dfprc9lj6bo200k/resources/dp2013-01campantedo.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Campante, Filipe R. & Do, Quoc-Anh & Guimaraes, Bernardo, 2012. "Isolated Capital Cities and Misgovernance: Theory and Evidence," Working Paper Series rwp12-058, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2003. "Evidence on the political economy of the urbanization process," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 98-125, January.
    3. Campante, Filipe Robin & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2009. "A Centered Index of Spatial Concentration: Axiomatic Approach with an Application to Population and Capital Cities," Scholarly Articles 4481653, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    4. James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2002. "The Political Economy of Institutions and Corruption in American States," EPRU Working Paper Series 02-16, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    5. James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2010. "Enforcement and Public Corruption: Evidence from US States," EPRU Working Paper Series 2010-08, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227.
    7. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2010. "A Centered Index of Spatial Concentration: Expected Influence Approach," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7t0dp4mp828, Sciences Po.
    8. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, January.
    9. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Julia Cage, 2014. "Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/16juu6v6rg8, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Accountability; Population Concentration; Capital Cities; Capture; US State Politics; Media; Newspapers; Turnout; Campaign Contributions; Public Good Provision;

    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
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9lj6bo200k. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sciences Po Departement of Economics Series Handler). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cfmspfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.