Unintended consequences of anti-corruption campaigns

We provide experimental evidence that information about copious corruption not only decreases incumbent support in local elections in Mexico, but also decreases voter turnout, challengers’ votes, and erodes voters’ identification with the party of the corrupt incumbent.

Our results suggest that while flows of information are necessary, they may be insufficient to improve political accountability, since voters may respond to information by withdrawing from the political process.

A new paper from Chong, De La O, Karlan, and Wantchekon