We study whether voters are more likely to “vote out” a corrupt politician than to re-elect him. Specifically, we examine whether they retract their support from political candidates who they think are corrupt by looking at changes in an index of corruption perceptions between the current and the last elections.
Our results suggest that corruption in public office is effectively punished by voters in the same way that good economic conditions are rewarded. Furthermore, our findings support the idea that both the political system and the democratic experience are important determinants of the voters’ reaction and control of corruption: voters react negatively to an increase in corruption in countries with parliamentary systems, and in countries with relatively low levels of democracy; with no perceptible effect in mature democracies and inconclusive evidence in the case of countries with presidential systems.
That’s a question I would like to do to the authors…