() and Jonas Vlachos
Helena Svaleryd: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Jonas Vlachos: Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: A fundamental problem in all political systems is that the people in power may extract rents to the detriment of the general public. In a democracy, electoral competition and information provided by the media may keep such rent extraction at bay. We develop a simple model where rents are decreasing in the degree of political competition and voter information. In line with our theoretical predictions, we find that both increased political competition and increased local media coverage substantially reduce direct measures of legal political rents among local governments in a non-corrupt democracy (Sweden).
57 pages, First version: February 16, 2007. Revised: September 25, 2008. Earlier revisions: March 26, 2008.
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