Corruption Performance Voting and the Electoral Context

Abstract: Fighting corruption is a vital aspect of good governance. When assessing government performance voters should thus withdraw electoral support from government parties that turn a blind eye to or even engage in corrupt practices. Whereas most accounts of performance-based voting focus on economic outcomes, we analyse whether and to what extent voters punish incumbents for high levels of corruption. Using data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, we find that while voters perceiving high levels of corruption punish incumbents, corruption performance voting depends on individual-level attributes and the electoral context: it is most likely for non-partisans, for voters who believe that government turnover will bring about change, and in systems where corruption is a salient issue. Yet, corruption performance voting is not moderated by the clarity of political responsibility. Studying these conditions helps us to understand why corruption is more persistent in some contexts than in others.

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License CC BY
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 130 - Comparative
Pedagogical Note Not Yet