References (48)


Citations (4)


Footnotes (15)



Looking Beyond the Incumbent: The Effects of Exposing Corruption on Electoral Outcomes

Alberto Chong

University of Ottawa

Ana L. De La O

Yale University

Dean S. Karlan

Yale University; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Leonard Wantchekon

Princeton University

January 2012

CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8790

Does information about rampant political corruption increase electoral participation and the support for challenger parties? Democratic theory assumes that offering more information to voters will enhance electoral accountability. However, if there is consistent evidence suggesting that voters punish corrupt incumbents, it is unclear whether this translates into increased support for challengers and higher political participation. We provide experimental evidence that information about copious corruption not only decreases incumbent support in local elections in Mexico, but also decreases voter turnout, challengers' votes, and erodes voters' identification with the party of the corrupt incumbent. Our results suggest that while flows of information are necessary, they may be insufficient to improve political accountability, since voters may respond to information by withdrawing from the political process. We conclude with a discussion of the institutional contexts that could allow increased access to information to promote government accountability.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Accountability, Corruption, Elections, Information, Voting

JEL Classification: D72, D73, D82, D83

Date posted: January 31, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Chong, Alberto and De La O, Ana L. and Karlan, Dean S. and Wantchekon, Leonard, Looking Beyond the Incumbent: The Effects of Exposing Corruption on Electoral Outcomes (January 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8790. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1995974

Contact Information

Alberto Chong (Contact Author)
University of Ottawa ( email )
2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Ana L. De La O Torres
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
Dean S. Karlan
Yale University ( email )
Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Leonard Wantchekon
Princeton University ( email )
22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 125
Downloads: 2
References:  48
Citations:  4
Footnotes:  15

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.875 seconds