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Polarization and Corruption in America

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  • Mickael Melki
  • Andrew Pickering

Abstract

The hypothesis that ideological polarization reduces corruption is tested using panel data from the US. To identify the causal effect of polarization, polarization is instrumented with lagged political position-taking in geographically neighboring states. Polarization is found to significantly reduce corruption. Consistent with the idea that ideological distance imposes additional electoral discipline on politicians, the beneficial effect of polarization is found to increase when political competition is high and when incumbent governors are eligible to run for office.

Suggested Citation

  • Mickael Melki & Andrew Pickering, 2016. "Polarization and Corruption in America," Discussion Papers 16/09, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:16/09
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; ideological polarization;

    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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