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Brown bag seminar | The selection of criminally charged politicians: Evidence from Brazil

On 13 June, 2023, researcher Gianmarco Daniele will present his paper at SSE about whether criminally charged individuals are more or less likely to enter politics based on administrative individual data on the Brazilian population. Join the next SITE brown bag seminar to learn more!

Working paper title: The selection of criminally charged politicians: Evidence from Brazil

By: Gianmarco Daniele, Diogo G. C. Britto, Marco Le Moglie, Paolo Pinotti and Breno Sampaio


Although honesty is likely the most important trait for a politician, we lack evidence on the selection of crime-prone individuals into the political arena. In this paper, we take advantage of administrative individual data on the Brazilian population to study whether criminally charged individuals are more or less likely to enter politics, we examine their policy-making once elected, and how policy influences their selection into politics. Criminally prosecuted individuals are about twice more likely to enter politics and to be elected than non-criminals, a difference not driven by observable characteristics. Then, by using a regression discontinuity (RD) analysis, we show that in municipalities where incriminated mayors are in power, there is a higher incidence of political patronage, in line with an entry into politics driven by rent-seeking motives. Finally, we show that the entry of criminally charged individuals is only marginally prevented by policies aimed at reducing rent-seeking, i.e. anti-corruption audits.

About the speaker

Gianmarco Daniele is an economist with interest in political, public, crime and development economics. (...)

His research mostly focuses on the intersection between politics and crime. Among others, he is interested in topics like organized crime, corruption, political accountability and political selection. 

He work as Associate (tenured) Professor at University of Milan (Faculty of Law) and as Executive Director of the CLEAN Unit on the economics of crime at Bocconi University.

Other affiliations: Research Affiliate at CEPR and an Associate Researcher at the Institut d'Economia Barcelona.

Learn more about the speaker >>

Interested in attending the SITE brown bag seminar at SSE or online via Zoom?

The link to the seminar will be distributed by invitation only. If you are interested in attending the seminar – please contact site@hhs.se. Follow the instructions below:

  • Type the subject box with “Brown bag seminar *INSERT SEMINAR TITLE*”
  • Indicate your affiliation and field of interest
  • Please also indicate if you want to attend in person or online

For registered applicants, a Zoom link will be provided prior to the event via email with further instructions.


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