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