Immunity

34 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2020

See all articles by Karthik Reddy

Karthik Reddy

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Moritz Schularick

University of Bonn - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Vasiliki Skreta

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics; University College London

Date Written: May 1, 2020

Abstract

Legal provisions that protect elected politicians from prosecution have been common throughout history and still exist in most democracies. We provide the first systematic measurement of immunity and study, theoretically and empirically, its relation to corruption. Theory predicts that immunity is a double‐edged sword. To test whether immunity is a vice or a virtue, we quantify immunity enjoyed by heads of government, ministers, and legislators in 90 countries. Controlling for standard determinants of corruption, we find that stronger immunity is associated with greater corruption. Instrumental variable estimations using immunity at the first democratic constitution suggest the effect could be causal.

Suggested Citation

Reddy, Karthik and Schularick, Moritz and Skreta, Vasiliki, Immunity (May 1, 2020). International Economic Review, Vol. 61, Issue 2, pp. 531-564, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3721369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/iere.12433

Karthik Reddy

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Moritz Schularick

University of Bonn - Department of Economics ( email )

Bonn
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Vasiliki Skreta (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

HOME PAGE: http://vskreta.wixsite.com/vskreta

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://vskreta.wixsite.com/vskreta

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