Economics Discussion Papers / Institut für Weltwirtschaft 2008-7
There is a growing evidence that political corruption is often closely associated with the rent seeking activities of special interest groups. This paper examines the nature of the interaction between the lobbying activities of special interest groups and the incidence of political corruption and determines whether electoral competition can eliminate political corruption. We obtain some striking results. Greater electoral competition serves to lessen policy distortions. However, this in turn stimulates more intense lobbying which increases the scope of corrupt behavior. It is shown that electoral competition merely serves to alter the type of corruption that eventuates, but cannot eliminate it.