Working Papers

1. “Explaining the Choice and Success of Parties Politicizing Corruption in Electoral Politics in Europe”  (with Andreas Bågenholm)

In this paper, we highlight two unexplored trends in European electoral politics.  One, using newly collected data by the authors, we track the politicization of corruption in electoral campaigns from 1981 to 2011, an electoral strategy which has been increasing over time in most European countries.  Two, we then empirically test two aspects of this campaign strategy.  First, what are the factors that are systematically associated with a party’s decision to politicize corruption?  Second, what are the electoral effects in terms of relative vote share for parties that politicize corruption?   Using and original dataset that employs multilevel (parties nested in countries) the results demonstrate that one, that politicization of corruption occurs systematically more often by established parties from the main opposition along with new parties, and parties on the political right, and occurs as a function of country level corruption, several electoral institutions, such as district magnitude and public party financing.  Two, main opposition and new parties that use such a campaign strategy make significant electoral gains relative to the previous election, yet gains are off-set in low-corrupt countries.

currently revise and re-submit at West European Politics

2.   “The Wealth of Regions: Entrepenuership and Wealth in Europe” (with Victor Lapuente and Marina Nystoskaya)

Abstract:  What explains the regional differences in wealth within and among counties in Europe?  This paper proposes a new empirical model for economic development at the regional level in Europe, namely that ‘quality off government’ (QoG), defined as the absence of corruption in the public sector and the impartial treatment of citizens according to the law, increases entrepreneurial activity in a region, which in turn leads to greater overall wealth.  Measuring entrepreneurial activity as the number of small firms per capita, we find a significant effect of QoG on small firms, and later with overall economic development, controlling for a number of alternative explanations.  To test our hypotheses, we use novel data on regional QoG  and regional small firms per capita; both measures created by the authors.

currently revise and re-submit Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

3. How Much Are Corruption Perceptions Explained by Actual Experience with Corruption?”

This study takes up several serious debates in the field of empirical corruption studies.  First, how much do experiences relate with perceptions?  Second, what explains ‘over/under’ perception of corruption relative to experience?  Third, are expert perceptions relate with citizen perception and experiences with corruption?  Using data from the largest survey to date on national and sub-national
level corruption experiences and perceptions in the public sector, we examine these salient questions in 24 countries in Europe at the individual, national and sub-national level.  The findings here contrast many previous studies that have found a weak/no empirical link between perceptions and actual corruption and that these measures are highly correlated with leading national level perceptions data.  Moreover, we do not find evidence that national level perceptions are over/under estimated by outside factors.

currently under Review

4. “The Effect of Impartial institutions on Social Trust below the National Level” (with Bo Rothstein)

in progress