Monitoring Corruptible Politicians
AbstractDoes monitoring corrupt activities induce a sustained reduction in corruption? Using longitudinal data on audits of municipal governments in Puerto Rico, we show corruption is considerably lower in municipalities with timely audits—before elections. However, these municipalities do not exhibit decreased levels of corruption in subsequent audits, even while mayors in these benefit from higher reelection rates. Our results suggest that audits enable voters to select responsive but corruptible politicians to office. Audit programs must disseminate results when they are most relevant for voters—shortly before an election—and ensure that these programs are sustained, long-term commitments.
CitationBobonis, Gustavo J., Luis R. Cámara Fuertes, and Rainer Schwabe. 2016. "Monitoring Corruptible Politicians." American Economic Review, 106 (8): 2371-2405. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130874
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H83 Public Administration; Public Sector Accounting and Audits
- K42 Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- O17 Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements