Revealed Corruption, Taxation, and Fiscal Accountability: Evidence from Brazil

Jeffrey F. Timmons, Francisco Garfias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fiscal contract theories hypothesize that government performance affects tax collection and that institutions that foster representation and accountability link taxes and services. We use randomly generated municipal audit reports with objective measures of corruption from Brazil to assess whether new information about corruption affects municipal property tax collection and the structure of fiscal institutions. We find short-run effects consistent with this theory: property tax revenue rises with clean audit reports and falls as revealed corruption increases; furthermore revealed corruption increases the probability that a municipality adopts participatory budgeting. Our results indicate modest demand-side constraints on taxation and budgetary institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Development
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Corruption
  • Fiscal contract
  • Participatory budgeting
  • Property taxes
  • Randomized audits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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