Electoral Rules and Corruption

41 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2001

See all articles by Torsten Persson

Torsten Persson

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Guido Tabellini

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research; Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)

Francesco Trebbi

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2001

Abstract

Is corruption systematically related to electoral rules? A number of studies have tried to uncover economic and social determinants of corruption but, as far as we know, nobody has yet empirically investigated how electoral systems influence corruption. We try to address this lacuna in the literature, by relating corruption to different features of the electoral system in a sample from the late nineties encompassing more than 80 (developed and developing) democracies. Our empirical results are based on traditional regression methods, as well as non-parametric estimators. The evidence is consistent with the theoretical models reviewed in the paper. Holding constant a variety of economic and social variables, we find that larger voting districts ? and thus lower barriers to entry ? are associated with less corruption, whereas larger shares of candidates elected from party lists ? and thus less individual accountability ? are associated with more corruption. Altogether, proportional elections are associated with more corruption, since voting over party lists is the dominant effect, while the district magnitude effect is less robust.

JEL Classification: H0, I0

Suggested Citation

Persson, Torsten and Tabellini, Guido and Trebbi, Francesco, Electoral Rules and Corruption (January 2001). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 416, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=263127 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.263127

Torsten Persson

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

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Sweden
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London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Guido Tabellini (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

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Francesco Trebbi

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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