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How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru


John McMillan


CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Pablo Zoido


Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

April 2004

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1173

Abstract:     
Which of the democratic checks and balances - opposition parties, the judiciary, a free press - is the most critical? Peru has the full set of democratic institutions. In the 1990s, the secret-police chief Vladimiro Montesinos systematically undermined them all with bribes. We quantify the checks using the bribe prices. Montesinos paid television-channel owners about 100 times what he paid judges and politicians. One single television channel's bribe was four times larger than the total of the opposition politicians' bribes. By revealed preference, the strongest check on the government's power was the news media.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: Democracy, institutions, corruption, bribery, checks and balances, media, Peru

JEL Classification: P160, K100, L820

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Date posted: March 26, 2004  

Suggested Citation

McMillan, John and Zoido, Pablo, How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru (April 2004). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1173. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=520902

Contact Information

John McMillan
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Pablo Zoido (Contact Author)
Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
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