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Lemann Lecture Series: Credibility and Specificity: When do Brazilian Voters Act on Information about Corruption?

Event Type
Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
101 ISB, 910 S. Fifht Street, Champaign IL
Feb 11, 2014   2:00 pm  
Matthew S. Winters, Department of Political Science, UIUC
Originating Calendar
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

It is commonly believed in Brazil that voters are tolerant of corruption as long as corrupt politicians are providing other public goods that voters demand.  We use survey experimental methods to explore how widespread this view actually is and find little evidence in a nationwide survey that voters will condone corruption even when politicians are otherwise performing well.  Instead, we find that voters strongly punish corrupt politicians.  In a follow-up survey, we explored the extent to which the source and specificity of the corruption information matter.  We find that Brazilian voters discern between information provided by central government audits as compared to opposition party accusations and between corruption in which a mayor is directly implicated as compared to the municipal administration more generally.  Our results give us reasons to be optimistic about the likely success of anti-corruption campaigns in Brazil

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