Item Details

Replication Data for: Corruption in General Equilibrium: Political Institutions and Bureaucratic Performance in South America, 2007

Daniel W. Gingerich
Computer Resource; Online; Dataset
Daniel W. Gingerich
Department of Government
A question of fundamental importance for the wellbeing of democratic governance is how the format of political institutions may be fashioned in order to prevent electoral victors from drawing upon the resources of the state to perpetuate themselves in power. This dissertation addresses this question by examining the consequences of democratic institutional design for levels of political corruption in three countries in South America: Bolivia, Brazil and Chile. The specific aspect of institutional design analyzed is the distinction between an open-list proportional representation (OLPR) electoral system and a closed-list proportional representation system (CLPR). Theoretical expectations are generated by a game-theoretic model which considers how the difference between the two systems may facilitate or impede corrupt 'contracts' from forming between party leaders and politically-oriented militants in the public administration. These expect ations are tested through the statistical analysis of an original public employees survey conducted in Bolivia (closed lists; 1038 participants in 14 institutions), Brazil (open lists; 1226 participants in 10 institutions) and Chile (open lists; 595 participants in 6 institutions). Based on the formal model, the dissertation argues that electoral systems which intensify legislative candidates’ demand for electoral resources and their willingness to engage in corruption (such as OLPR), may make extraction of resources from the state more difficult, thereby dampening the supply of corruption (relative to CLPR). The central idea is that CLPR, which gives parties the ability to rank candidates on closed ballots, allows party leaders to exert significant control ov er the future careers of politically-minded public servants. This, in turn, provides them with the ability to pressure civil servants to engage in illicit behaviors which redound to the benefit of the party. In order to test this proposition, the study develops statistical techniques appropriate for analyzing the survey data, which utilizes the randomized response survey methodology. Using these techniques, the study finds that, indeed, politically-oriented bureaucrats in the closed list case (Bolivia) were more inclined the use the resources of their institutions for partisan benefit than similar bureaucrats in the open list cases (Brazil and Chile), controlling for other factors relat ed to the incidence of illicit resource use.
Date Received
Department of Government, Harvard University, 2008
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