Working paper

Voting Corrupt Politicians Out of Office? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Paraguay

Rumilda Cañete, Josepa Miquel-Florensa, Stéphane Straub, and Karine Van Der Straeten

Abstract

This paper challenges the conventional wisdom that giving voters more power{both formally through the use of more "open" electoral systems and informally through easier access to information on politicians' wrongdoings will necessarily result in them voting corrupt politicians out of office. Focusing on a comparison between closed-list and open-list proportional representation systems, we theoretically show that opening the lists is likely to generate a large shift of vote shares in favor of the traditional, most corrupt parties. We design a survey experiment to test these predictions in Paraguay and nd strong supporting evidence. We do not nd in our context that the lack of information is a major obstacle preventing voters from voting out corrupt politicians; if anything, under the more open system, supporters of the incumbent party tend to cast more votes for politicians with a recent history of corruption.

Keywords

Corruption; Electoral systems; Information;

Reference

Rumilda Cañete, Josepa Miquel-Florensa, Stéphane Straub, and Karine Van Der Straeten, Voting Corrupt Politicians Out of Office? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Paraguay, TSE Working Paper, n. 20-1063, January 2020.

See also

Published in

TSE Working Paper, n. 20-1063, January 2020