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Can electors combat corruption? Institutional arrangements and citizen behaviour.

Journal article
Authors Georgios Xezonakis
S Kosmidis
Stefan Dahlberg
Published in European Journal of Political Research
Volume 55
Issue 1
Pages 160-176
ISSN 0304-4130
Publication year 2016
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Pages 160-176
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12114
Keywords corruption, voting, clarity of responsibility, elections, congressional elections, political context, voting-behavior, government, systems, accountability, responsibility, constraints, attitudes, clarity, Government & Law
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Abstract

Studies interested in the cross-national levels of corruption have concluded that specific institutional characteristics drive the aggregate variation. In countries with high institutional clarity and plurality electoral systems, corruption tends to be lower since increased voter monitoring and clarity of responsibility incentivise politicians to deliver virtuous policies. However, the underlying accountability mechanism has never been tested at the individual level. It is still unclear whether (1) voters do place voting weights on corruption, and (2) whether these weights vary in response to aggregate institutional characteristics. In this article, survey data from 23 democracies is used to put the accountability micro-mechanism to this test. While there is some evidence that voters do vote on the basis of corruption, the moderating effect of institutional characteristics is not as strong as previously thought.

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