Legal provisions that protect politicians from arrest and prosecution exist throughout much of the modern democratic world. Why, and with what effects, do societies choose to place their politicians above the law? We examine the institution of immunity both theoretically and empirically. Our theoretical model demonstrates that immunity is a double-edged sword; while statutory immunity provisions protect honest politicians from politically-motivated charges, they may also incentivize corrupt behavior. Which effect dominates depends on the quality of the judicial system. In order to empirically analyze the effects of immunity provisions, we quantify the strength of immunity protection enjoyed by heads of government, ministers, and legislators in 73 democracies. We find empirical evidence that though stronger immunity protection is associated with greater corruption where the judicial system is independent, this relationship has more ambiguous effects where the legal system is weak and susceptible to politicization. These effects remain after controlling for standard determinants of corruption.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tugrul Gurgur & Anwar Shah, 2008.
"Localization and corruption: panacea or pandora's box?,"
CEMA Working Papers
581, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Tugrul Gurgur & Anwar Shah, 2014. "Localization and corruption: panacea or pandora's box?," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 109-136, May.
- Gurgur, Tugrul & Shah, Anwar, 2005. "Localization and corruption : panacea or pandora's box?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3486, The World Bank.
- repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1203-50 is not listed on IDEAS
- Suphachol Suphachalasai, 2005.
"Bureaucratic Corruption and Mass Media,"
- Suphachol Suphachalasai, 2005. "Bureaucratic Corruption and Mass Media," Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers 05.2005, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics, revised 2005.
- La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999.
"The Quality of Government,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Rose-Ackerman,Susan, 1999. "Corruption and Government," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521659123, October.
- Snyder Jr., James M. & Ting, Michael M., 2008. "Interest groups and the electoral control of politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 482-500, April.
- Bonaglia, Federico & Braga de Macedo, Jorge & Bussolo, Maurizio, 2001.
"How Globalization Improves Governance,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2992, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Federico Bonaglia & Jorge Braga de Macedo & Maurizio Bussolo, 2001. "How Globalisation Improves Governance," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 181, OECD Publishing.
- Fecerico Bonaglia & Jorge Braga de Macedo & Maurizio Bussolo, 2002. "How Globalisation Improves Governance," International Trade 0211005, EconWPA.
- Matthew C. Stephenson & Jide O. Nzelibe, 2010. "Political Accountability Under Alternative Institutional Regimes," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 22(2), pages 139-167, April.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004.
"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government,"
Economics Working Papers
0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Eric Maskin, 2003. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1020-1048, December.
- Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
- Ugo Panizza, 2001. "Electoral Rules, Political Systems, and Institutional Quality," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 311-342, November.
- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
- F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
- Chowdhury, Shyamal K., 2004. "The effect of democracy and press freedom on corruption: an empirical test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 93-101, October.
- Herzfeld, Thomas & Weiss, Christoph, 2003. "Corruption and legal (in)effectiveness: an empirical investigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 621-632, September.
- Freille, Sebastian & Haque, M. Emranul & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "A contribution to the empirics of press freedom and corruption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 838-862, December.
- Rose-Ackerman,Susan, 1999. "Corruption and Government," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632935, October.
- Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
- Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Jain, Arvind K, 2001. " Corruption: A Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 71-121, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:12-17. 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: (Viveca Licata)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.