Voter heterogeneity and political corruption

Recognition Program

Authors: Enriqueta Aragonès, Javier Rivas and Áron Tóth

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 170, 206-221, February, 2020

We show that policies that eliminate corruption can depart from socially desirable policies and this inefficiency can be large enough to allow corruption to live on. Political competition between an honest (welfare maximiser) and corrupt politicians is studied. In our model the corrupt politician is at a distinct disadvantage: there is no asymmetric information, no voter bias and voters are fully rational. Yet, corruption cannot be eliminated when voters have heterogeneous preferences.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona School of Economics Working Paper 1121
This paper is acknowledged by the Barcelona School of Economics Recognition Program