Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/89758
Title: 
Authors: 
Reddy, Karthik
Schularick, Moritz
Skreta, Vasiliki
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 4445
Abstract: 
Legal provisions that protect politicians from arrest and prosecution exist throughout much of the modern democratic world. Why, and with what effects, do societies choose to place their politicians above the law? We examine the institution of immunity both theoretically and empirically. Our theoretical model demonstrates that immunity is a double-edged sword; while statutory immunity provisions protect honest politicians from politically-motivated charges, they may also incentivize corrupt behavior. Which effect dominates depends on the quality of the judicial system. In order to empirically analyze the effects of immunity provisions, we quantify the strength of immunity protection enjoyed by heads of government, ministers, and legislators in 73 democracies. We find empirical evidence that though stronger immunity protection is associated with greater corruption where the judicial system is independent, this relationship has more ambiguous effects where the legal system is weak and susceptible to politicization. These effects remain after controlling for standard determinants of corruption.
Subjects: 
accountability
corruption
immunity
interest groups
JEL: 
K40
N40
D72
D78
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.