Punishing personal and electoral corruption

Experimental evidence from India

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A growing literature examines the effect of corruption on political behavior. However, little attention has been paid so far to the fact that politicians engage in it for various reasons and with different welfare consequences. In this article, I argue that voters judge corrupt politicians differently depending on what the money is used for. I show results from a survey experiment in India in which respondents heard about a politician who accepted money for a political favor. One treatment group was told that the politician used the money to personally enrich himself (personal corruption), while the other group was informed that he used it to buy votes (electoral corruption). Respondents who received the vote buying treatment were clearly and consistently less likely to agree with a series of potential punishments. This suggests that the overall welfare consequences of corrupt exchanges are an important factor when voters decide how to judge offending politicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch and Politics
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

corruption
politician
India
money
evidence
voter
welfare
political behavior
penalty
Group
experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Public Administration

Cite this

Punishing personal and electoral corruption : Experimental evidence from India. / Weschle, Simon.

In: Research and Politics, Vol. 3, No. 2, 01.04.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{de256321227f487697d90dee3cd5eca4,
title = "Punishing personal and electoral corruption: Experimental evidence from India",
abstract = "A growing literature examines the effect of corruption on political behavior. However, little attention has been paid so far to the fact that politicians engage in it for various reasons and with different welfare consequences. In this article, I argue that voters judge corrupt politicians differently depending on what the money is used for. I show results from a survey experiment in India in which respondents heard about a politician who accepted money for a political favor. One treatment group was told that the politician used the money to personally enrich himself (personal corruption), while the other group was informed that he used it to buy votes (electoral corruption). Respondents who received the vote buying treatment were clearly and consistently less likely to agree with a series of potential punishments. This suggests that the overall welfare consequences of corrupt exchanges are an important factor when voters decide how to judge offending politicians.",
author = "Simon Weschle",
year = "2016",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/2053168016645136",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "3",
journal = "Research and Politics",
issn = "2053-1680",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Punishing personal and electoral corruption

T2 - Experimental evidence from India

AU - Weschle, Simon

PY - 2016/4/1

Y1 - 2016/4/1

N2 - A growing literature examines the effect of corruption on political behavior. However, little attention has been paid so far to the fact that politicians engage in it for various reasons and with different welfare consequences. In this article, I argue that voters judge corrupt politicians differently depending on what the money is used for. I show results from a survey experiment in India in which respondents heard about a politician who accepted money for a political favor. One treatment group was told that the politician used the money to personally enrich himself (personal corruption), while the other group was informed that he used it to buy votes (electoral corruption). Respondents who received the vote buying treatment were clearly and consistently less likely to agree with a series of potential punishments. This suggests that the overall welfare consequences of corrupt exchanges are an important factor when voters decide how to judge offending politicians.

AB - A growing literature examines the effect of corruption on political behavior. However, little attention has been paid so far to the fact that politicians engage in it for various reasons and with different welfare consequences. In this article, I argue that voters judge corrupt politicians differently depending on what the money is used for. I show results from a survey experiment in India in which respondents heard about a politician who accepted money for a political favor. One treatment group was told that the politician used the money to personally enrich himself (personal corruption), while the other group was informed that he used it to buy votes (electoral corruption). Respondents who received the vote buying treatment were clearly and consistently less likely to agree with a series of potential punishments. This suggests that the overall welfare consequences of corrupt exchanges are an important factor when voters decide how to judge offending politicians.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85048772792&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85048772792&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/2053168016645136

DO - 10.1177/2053168016645136

M3 - Article

VL - 3

JO - Research and Politics

JF - Research and Politics

SN - 2053-1680

IS - 2

ER -