Tolerance of Corruption or Ideological Blindness?

33 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2014

Date Written: November 28, 2014


It is quite puzzling that corruption persists in democratic countries given that voters have the electoral chance to choose honest politicians for political positions and punish those ones that misbehave. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to investigate the impact of type of misconduct and ideological matching on voters’ perception of corruption; and (2) whether the perception of corruption influences voters’ choice. After critically dialoguing the relevant literature, our investigation is carried out through an experimental approach conducted by Facebook users. Our preliminary results indicate that when voters and the candidate share ideological preferences, they are less likely to consider the candidate’s misbehavior as corrupt than when they have different ideological preferences. It also indicates that ideology, both in economic and in social dimensions, not only affects voters’ perception of corruption but also it affects voters’ choice, regardless of the type of corruption (nepotism versus money).

Keywords: corruption, tolerance, ideology, Brazil, experiment, facebook

JEL Classification: C93, P16

Suggested Citation

Pereira, Carlos and S. G. Barros, Lucia, Tolerance of Corruption or Ideological Blindness? (November 28, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Carlos Pereira (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) ( email )

R. Dr. Neto de Araujo 320 cj 1307
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22250-900


Lucia S. G. Barros

FGV-EAESP ( email )


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