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The Usefulness of Corruptible Elections

Author

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  • Loren Brandt
  • Matthew Turner

Abstract

Using a sample of rural Chines villages which have recently been the subject of democratic reforms we look for the relationship between marginal changes in the democratic process and marginal changes in economic outcomes. We find that even very poorly conducted elections can have large incentive effects. That is, even corruptible elections provide leaders with strong incentives to act in the interests of their constituents. Our findings also allow us to rank the imiprotance of four possible election reforms which have attracted the attention of international observers and academic researchers.

Suggested Citation

  • Loren Brandt & Matthew Turner, 2006. "The Usefulness of Corruptible Elections," Working Papers tecipa-233, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-233
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
    2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    3. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
    4. Loren Brandt & Scott Rozelle & Matthew A. Turner, 2004. "Local Government Behavior and Property Right Formation in Rural China," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 627-627, December.
    5. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Do Electoral Cycles Differ Across Political Systems?," Working Papers 232, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Birney, Mayling, 2014. "Decentralization and Veiled Corruption under China’s “Rule of Mandates”," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 55-67.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elections; Corruption; China;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General

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