By the same authors

Polarization and Corruption in America

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper



Publication details

DatePublished - Jul 2016
PublisherDepartment of Economics and Related Studies, University of York
Place of PublicationYork
Number of pages44
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameUniversity of York Discussion Papers in Economics


The hypothesis that ideological polarization reduces corruption is tested using
panel data from the US. To identify the causal effect of polarization, polarization
is instrumented with lagged political position-taking in geographically
neighboring states. Polarization is found to significantly reduce corruption.
Consistent with the idea that ideological distance imposes additional electoral
discipline on politicians, the beneficial effect of polarization is found to increase
when political competition is high and when incumbent governors are eligible
to run for office.

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