Accountability, Political Capture and Selection into Politics: Evidence from Peruvian Municipalities

73 Pages Posted: 21 May 2018 Last revised: 2 Dec 2019

See all articles by Gianmarco León Ciliotta

Gianmarco León Ciliotta

Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE); Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona; CEPR

Lukas Kleine-Rueschkamp

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Date Written: May 2018

Abstract

We estimate the effects of political accountability on the selection of politicians when accountability mechanisms are prone to political capture. Using a comprehensive dataset containing the characteristics and background of candidates running for mayor in the last three local elections in Peru, and a close election sharp regression discontinuity design, we compare candidates running for mayor in districts where the incumbent was ousted from office through a recall referendum in the previous electoral term with those who run in districts where the recall referendum failed by a small margin. Candidates in municipalities where the incumbent was recalled are less educated, have less experience in elected offices

and in the public sector. These candidates are also less representative of indigenous groups. Our findings are consistent with a framework where potential candidates learn about an accountability mechanism which is prone to political capture, distorting the main objectives of improving the quality of governance, and instead discouraging high quality candidates to run. The negative selection of candidates is partially offset by voters, who elect the best politician out of a lower quality pool of candidates, but still we observe effects on policy outcomes.

Keywords: accountability, Peru, Selection into Politics

JEL Classification: D71, D72, O10, O53

Suggested Citation

León Ciliotta, Gianmarco and Kleine-Rueschkamp, Lukas, Accountability, Political Capture and Selection into Politics: Evidence from Peruvian Municipalities (May 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12941. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3182402

Gianmarco León Ciliotta (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
(+34) 93 542-1757 (Phone)
(+34) 93 542-1746 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/gianmarcoleon/

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, Catalonia 08014
Spain

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

CEPR ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Lukas Kleine-Rueschkamp

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

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