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How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru

37 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2004  

John McMillan

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Pablo Zoido

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2004

Abstract

Which of the democratic checks and balances - opposition parties, the judiciary, a free press - is the most critical? Peru has the full set of democratic institutions. In the 1990s, the secret-police chief Vladimiro Montesinos systematically undermined them all with bribes. We quantify the checks using the bribe prices. Montesinos paid television-channel owners about 100 times what he paid judges and politicians. One single television channel's bribe was four times larger than the total of the opposition politicians' bribes. By revealed preference, the strongest check on the government's power was the news media.

Keywords: Democracy, institutions, corruption, bribery, checks and balances, media, Peru

JEL Classification: P160, K100, L820

Suggested Citation

McMillan, John and Zoido, Pablo, How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru (April 2004). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1173. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=520902

John McMillan

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Pablo Zoido (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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