Constitutional Power Concentration and Corruption: Evidence From Latin America and the Caribbean

33 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019

See all articles by Christian Bjørnskov

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Andrea Sáenz de Viteri

University of Navarra - School of Economics

Date Written: September 20, 2019

Abstract

Just as its constitutional development is characterized by frequent change and substantial concentration of power, the Latin American and the Caribbean area is known to host some of the most corrupt countries of the world. A group of countries such as Chile, Barbados and Uruguay, however, report levels of corruption similar to those displayed by most European countries. We ask whether the concentration of power in the executive, as well as in the national parliament in this particular region, affect how corrupt a society is. Using panel data from 42 Latin America and Caribbean countries from 1970 to 2014, we find that constitutional power concentration is in fact a determinant of corruption. Yet, the constitutional provisions allocating powers of government appear only to be consistently important when parliament is ideologically fractionalised.

Keywords: corruption, constitutional political economy, power concentration, ideology

JEL Classification: D72, K42, P16

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian and Sáenz de Viteri Vázquez, Andrea, Constitutional Power Concentration and Corruption: Evidence From Latin America and the Caribbean (September 20, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3457678 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3457678

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Andrea Sáenz de Viteri Vázquez

University of Navarra - School of Economics ( email )

Universidad de Navarra
Campus Universitario
Pamplona, 31009
Spain

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