Kshitiz Shrestha, ICePP director Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, and Charles Hankla recently released “Political Decentralization and Corruption: Exploring the Conditional Role of Parties.” In it, they investigate how national levels of corruption are influenced by the interaction of two factors: the presence of local elections and the organizational structure of national parties. Previous studies have focused primarily on the role of fiscal decentralization on corruption and have mostly ignored political context. They argue here that corruption will be lower when local governments are more accountable to and more transparent towards their constituents. This beneficial arrangement is most likely, they find, when local elections are combined with non-integrated political parties, that is, where party institutions themselves are decentralized from national control. Such an institutional arrangement maximizes local accountability by putting the decision to nominate and elect local leaders in the hands of those best in a position to evaluate their honesty – local electors. In their empirical analyses, using new data in a series of expansive models across multiple countries and years, they find support for their arguments.
Read the full working paper here.
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The International Center for Public Policy has published a working paper series since 1997 to disseminate academic research quickly and to stimulate discussion that can expand knowledge, instill optimal practice and build capacity in the public sector around the world to improve human well-being.
Our primary areas of interest are fiscal decentralization and local governance, tax policy, and public budgeting and fiscal management in the global context. Some papers may focus on the United States if the results have international relevance.
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