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  • Author: Valentin Figueroa
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper, I use a slightly modified version of the Becker– Stigler model of corrupt behavior to explain bureaucratic political in- volvement. Since bureaucrats prefer higher rewards and not to support losing candidates, we expect them to become politically involved near elections – when rewards are expected to be higher, and information more abundant. Taking advantage of a natural experiment, I employ differences-in-means and differences-in-differences techniques to esti- mate the effect of electoral proximity on the political involvement of justices of the peace in the city of Buenos Aires in 1904. I find a large, positive, and highly local effect of electoral proximity on their political involvement, with no appreciable impact in the months before or after elections.
  • Topic: Corruption, Elections, Justice, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Ivan Juca, Marcus Andre Melo, Lucio Renno
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While corruption is widely disapproved of, some corrupt poli- ticians continue to win elections. We tackle this paradox by examining the effects of malfeasance scandals in politicians’ behavior. In particular, we focus on their campaign finance strategies and career choices. We explore these issues empirically with an original dataset that includes all lower-house members of Congress (MCs) in Brazil from 1995 to 2010. Although tainted incumbents tend to be penalized electorally, we show that campaign spending attenuates this effect. These results are robust, controlling for a host of potential confounders and biases. Hence, we offer a first exploration of incumbents’ strategies to avoid the electoral cost of their publicized wrongdoings. Above a certain threshold of fund- ing, Brazilian members of Congress become impervious to negative exposure, regardless of the severity of their ethical and/or criminal viola- tions. These results carry important normative consequences in terms of regulating campaign financing as a means of improving accountability.
  • Topic: Corruption, Legislation, Campaign Finance , Scandals
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Matthew S. Winters, Rebecca Wietz-Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In long-standing democracies, the partisan attachments of most citi- zens are stable and not responsive to short-term political events. Recent studies from younger democracies, however, suggest that partisanship may be more malleable in these contexts. In this paper we develop hypotheses about how political corruption might affect voter attachment to the parties of corrupt offi- cials or to the party system as a whole. Using data from an original survey exper- iment in Brazil, we show that prompts about political corruption shift patterns of partisan attachment for highly educated respondents – specifically, that cor- ruption associated with one political party reduces nonpartisanship and signifi- cantly increases identification with other political parties. In contrast, we find that information on corruption has no consistent measurable effect on partisan- ship for less educated respondents. We conclude by discussing the implications of malleable partisanship for democratic accountability.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democracy, Accountability, Participation
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Joel W. Johnson
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that perceptions of corruption in Latin America exhibit predictable fluctuations in the wake of presidential turn- over. Specifically, presidential elections that result in the partisan transfer of power are normally followed by a surge-and-decline pattern in per- ceived corruption control, with initial improvements that fade with time. The causes are multiple and stem from the removal of corrupt admin- istrations, public enthusiasm about administrative change, and the rela- tive lack of high-level corruption scandals in the early phases of new governments. A statistical analysis of two widely used corruption percep- tions indices demonstrates the pattern for eighteen Latin American de- mocracies from 1996 to 2010. Both indices exhibit a temporary surge (of about two years) after turnover elections, while no such change follows reelections of incumbent presidents or parties. The theory and results are relevant for understanding public opinion in Latin America and for the analysis of corruption perceptions indices.
  • Topic: Corruption, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Joseph Pozsgai Alvarez
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the past decade, the tolerance of cor- ruption by citizens of most Latin American countries has become a con- cept in its own right within the broader study of corruption. This con- struct, however, lacks a systematic approach and is yet to account for specific types of corruption tolerance or identify appropriate indicators to measure them. The present study addresses these voids by analyzing data provided by LAPOP’s AmericasBarometer 2006 for Peru (a typical case for the incidence of bribery in Latin America) and the Global Cor- ruption Barometer against a carefully constructed framework for the understanding of the phenomenon of corruption tolerance. The results indicate that attitudes toward specific types of low-level corruption should not be equated to citizens’ decisions to engage in such behavior. They further suggest that the study of corruption tolerance has the po- tential to greatly improve our understanding of the determinants of cor- ruption in developing countries.
  • Topic: Corruption, Developing World, Accountability
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Peru