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