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Corruption and local politics: does it pay to be a crook?
Jiménez González, Juan Luis; García, Carmen
During the recent years of economic boom in Spain, political corruption at the local level boomed as well. In fact, it increased from 7 publicly denounced cases from 1999-2003 to at least 180 in the last legislative period (2007-2011). In this paper, we explore this phenomenon in two related ways: how it has affected voting results and political participation, and whether the wrongdoing of local politicians has undermined the voters’ confidence in them. We constructed a socioeconomic municipality database that matched polling results and corruption cases and then estimated a voting-share equation by difference-in-difference and matching techniques. Our results confirm that the voters’ attitude towards corruption is significantly different with respect to parties on the right or the left. In fact, after an imputation in a local corruption case, abstention increases by an average 1.8 percentage points, leftparties’ voting share is reduced by approximately 2 percentage points, while right-parties’ share increases approximately 3 points. However, if the imputed candidate stands for re-election again, right-parties voting share is reduced by 4.4 points, but right-wing corruption at superior levels also increases voting share.
Corrupció política
Sociologia electoral
Eleccions locals
Political corruption
Voting research
Local elections
cc-by-nc-nd, (c) Jiménez et al., 2012
Working Paper
Universitat de Barcelona. Institut de Recerca en Economia Aplicada Regional i Pública

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