Title

Conviction and punishment: Free press and competitive election as deterrents to corruption

Date of this Version

1-1-2009

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only

Tian, X. & Lo, V. I. (2009). Conviction and punishment: Free press and competitive election as deterrents to corruption. Public management review, 11(2), 155-172.

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1503

© Copyright 2009 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.

Abstract

Democratic institutions are not equally effective in curbing corruption. Using a criminal behavior model, this study formulates the hypothesis that corruption offenders, being risk-inclined, are deterred more by conviction-reinforcing democratic institutions than by punishment-reinforcing democratic institutions. Evidence based on cross-country regressions strongly supports this hypothesis, indicating that compared with competitive election, free press is a more effective deterrent to corruption. While shedding light on why corruption remains rampant in some electoral democracies - particularly the illiberal democracies - this study identifies a key to corruption control.

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This document has been peer reviewed.