Article thumbnail

The Political Economy of Institutions and Corruption in American States.

By James E. Alt and David Dreyer Lassen

Abstract

Theoretically, this paper draws on political agency theory to formulate hypotheses. Empirically, it shows that political institutions have a role in explaining the prevalence of political corruption in American states. In the states, a set of democracies where the rule of law is relatively well established and the confounding effects of differing electoral systems and regimes are absent, institutional variables relating to the openness of the political system inhibit corruption. That is, other things equal, the extent to which aspiring politicians can enter and gain financial backing, and to which voters can focus their votes on policies and thereby hold incumbent politicians accountable for policy outcomes and find substitutes for them if dissatisfied with those outcomes, reduce corruption as a general problem of agency. These institutional effects are estimated in the presence of controls for variables representing other approaches.

OAI identifier:

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2003). A Free Press is Bad News for Corruption.”
  2. (1956). A Preface to Modern Democratic Theory.
  3. (1999). Accountability and Authority: Towards a Model of Political Accountability”,
  4. (1999). Bargaining for Legislation with Voter Initiatives.”
  5. (2000). Corrupt Cities. Washington D.C.:
  6. (1998). Corruption and Government Size:
  7. (1999). Corruption and Government. Cambridge:
  8. (1995). Corruption and Growth",
  9. (2002). Corruption and rent-seeking.”
  10. (1999). Corruption in Empirical Research - A Review. Transparency International Working Paper,
  11. (1978). Corruption: A Study in Political Economy.
  12. (2002). Decentralization and Corruption: Evidence Across Countries.”
  13. Decentralization and Corruption: Evidence from U.S. Federal Transfer Programs.” Public Choice 113, 25-35. Gerber, Elisabeth “Legislative Response to the Threat of Popular Initiatives.”
  14. (1999). Does 'Grease Money' Speed up the Wheels of Commerce?" National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 7093,
  15. (1995). Does Political Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from
  16. (1993). Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption:
  17. (1999). Governance Matters." World Bank Policy Research Working
  18. (1990). Governing the Commons. New York:
  19. (2001). Guido Tabellini and Francisco Trebbi.
  20. (2001). Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand: Media Capture and Government Accountability.”
  21. (2000). Issue Unbundling via Citizens’ Initiatives.” NBER Working Paper 8036,
  22. (1997). National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic",
  23. (2002). On the Measurement of Rent-Seeking and its
  24. (2000). Political Accountability and the Size of Government: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence.” EPRU Working Paper 00-20,
  25. (2002). Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States.”
  26. (2001). Power and Prosperity.
  27. (1999). Power Corrupts - Editorial Comment", The Wall Street Journal,
  28. (1991). Reform and Reality: The Financing of State and Local Campaigns.
  29. (1998). Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy."
  30. (2002). Social Capital and the Quality of Government: Evidence from the U.S.
  31. (2002). Sources of Corruption: A Cross-Country Study".
  32. (2001). Special Interest Politics.
  33. (2002). The Big Pattern of Corruption.
  34. (2000). The Determinants of Corruption.”
  35. (2002). The Economic Effect of Constitutions: What do the data say?
  36. (1996). The Population Ecology of Interest Representation: Lobbying Communities in the American States. Ann Arbor:
  37. (1999). The Quality of Government.”
  38. (1982). The Rise and Decline of Nations.
  39. (1971). The Theory of Economic Regulation.”
  40. (1999). Wealth, Culture, and Corruption."
  41. (1999). Why do Some Countries Produce so much more Output per Worker than Others".
  42. (1998). Why Poor Economic Policies Must Promote Corruption: Lessons from the East for All Countries”