Constitutional Power Concentration and Corruption: Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean

Reprint No. 2020:74

Author(s): Andrea Sáenz de Viteri Vázquez and Christian BjørnskovYear: 2020 Title: Constitutional Political Economy Volume (No.): 31 (4) Pages: 509–536
Online article (restrictions may apply)

Just as its constitutional development is characterised by frequent change and substantial concentration of power, the Latin American and the Caribbean area is known to host some of the most corrupt countries of the world. A group of countries such as Chile, Barbados and Uruguay, however, report levels of corruption similar to those displayed by most European countries. We ask whether the concentration of power in the executive, as well as in the national parliament in this particular region, affect how corrupt a society is. Using panel data from 22 Latin America and Caribbean countries from 1970 to 2014, we find that constitutional power concentration is in fact a determinant of corruption. Yet, the constitutional provisions allocating powers of government appear only to be consistently important when parliament is ideologically fractionalised.

Sáenz de Viteri Vázquez, Andrea and Christian Bjørnskov (2020), "Constitutional Power Concentration and Corruption: Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean". Constitutional Political Economy 31(4), 509–536.

Christian Bjørnskov


Ph: +45 87 16 48 19
Mob: +45 20 12 03 84

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se