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More politicians, more corruption : evidence from Swedish municipalities

Bergh, Andreas LU ; Fink, Günther and Öhrvall, Richard (2017) In Public Choice 172(3-4). p.483-500
Abstract

In the literature on political economy and public choice, it is typically assumed that government size correlates positively with public corruption. The empirical literature, however, is inconclusive, owing to both measurement problems and endogeneity. This paper creates a corruption index based on original data from a survey covering top politicians and civil servants in all Swedish municipalities. The effect of more politicians on corruption problems is analyzed using discontinuities in the required minimum size of local councils. Despite the fact that Sweden consistently has been ranked among the least corrupt countries in the world, the survey suggest that non-trivial corruption problems are present in Sweden. Municipalities with... (More)

In the literature on political economy and public choice, it is typically assumed that government size correlates positively with public corruption. The empirical literature, however, is inconclusive, owing to both measurement problems and endogeneity. This paper creates a corruption index based on original data from a survey covering top politicians and civil servants in all Swedish municipalities. The effect of more politicians on corruption problems is analyzed using discontinuities in the required minimum size of local councils. Despite the fact that Sweden consistently has been ranked among the least corrupt countries in the world, the survey suggest that non-trivial corruption problems are present in Sweden. Municipalities with more local council seats have more reported corruption problems, and the regression discontinuity design suggests that the effect is causal.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Corruption, Government size, Institutions, Local government, Political economy, Sweden
in
Public Choice
volume
172
issue
3-4
pages
483 - 500
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019666473
  • wos:000407753200011
ISSN
0048-5829
DOI
10.1007/s11127-017-0458-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
280b7454-cf27-46f8-b2ec-7b32ce877511
date added to LUP
2017-06-08 14:18:58
date last changed
2018-02-19 02:23:23
@article{280b7454-cf27-46f8-b2ec-7b32ce877511,
  abstract     = {<p>In the literature on political economy and public choice, it is typically assumed that government size correlates positively with public corruption. The empirical literature, however, is inconclusive, owing to both measurement problems and endogeneity. This paper creates a corruption index based on original data from a survey covering top politicians and civil servants in all Swedish municipalities. The effect of more politicians on corruption problems is analyzed using discontinuities in the required minimum size of local councils. Despite the fact that Sweden consistently has been ranked among the least corrupt countries in the world, the survey suggest that non-trivial corruption problems are present in Sweden. Municipalities with more local council seats have more reported corruption problems, and the regression discontinuity design suggests that the effect is causal.</p>},
  author       = {Bergh, Andreas and Fink, Günther and Öhrvall, Richard},
  issn         = {0048-5829},
  keyword      = {Corruption,Government size,Institutions,Local government,Political economy,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3-4},
  pages        = {483--500},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Public Choice},
  title        = {More politicians, more corruption : evidence from Swedish municipalities},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11127-017-0458-4},
  volume       = {172},
  year         = {2017},
}