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Electoral systems and corruption

  • Vincenzo Verardi

Recently, many scholars have tried to explain how electoral systems are linked to corruption. Several theories emerged but still no consensus has been reached. With a dataset of about 50 democratic countries considered over 10 years we try to understand which of the effects highlighted in the theoretical literature dominates. The results tend to show that larger voting districts (characterized by lower barriers to entry) are associated with less corruption, whereas closed lists tend to be associated with more The latter effect is nevertheless not robust. In aggregate, we find that majoritarian systems tend to be associated to higher levels of corruption than proportional representations. An additional finding is that presidential regimes tend to be associated with more corruption than parliamentary ones.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/9893.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Latin American journal of economic development (2004) v.3,p.117-150
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/9893
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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  3. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  4. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
  5. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, February.
  6. Lien, Da-Hsiang Donald, 1986. "A note on competitive bribery games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 337-341.
  7. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Theoretical Comparisons of Electoral Systems," Discussion Papers 1261, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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