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Politicians at higher levels of government are perceived as more corrupt

Abstract : The relationship between decentralization and corruption has been discussed extensively, but little is known about the variation of corruption across government levels. Using an original survey where French citizens were asked to assess corruption at all levels of government, we observe that corruption perceived at a government level is higher, the higher the government level in the government hierarchy. Specifically, municipal governments are perceived as the least corrupt, followed by local governments, senators, deputies, and the national cabinet. The president of the Republic is perceived as slightly less corrupt than the national cabinet, but more corrupt than any other level of government. The relationship is robust to alternative specifications, controlling for a series of individual and regional characteristics, and to alternative definitions of the dependent variable. The finding is not reducible to geographic distance. We observe it in several other countries.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 11:02:55 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:33:38 AM

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Abel François, Pierre-Guillaume Méon. Politicians at higher levels of government are perceived as more corrupt. European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, 2020, pp.101962. ⟨10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2020.101962⟩. ⟨hal-03129928⟩

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