A growing body of research explores the factors that affect when corrupt politicians are held accountable by voters. Most studies, however, focus on one or few factors in isolation, leaving incomplete our understanding of whether they condition each other. To address this, we embedded rich conjoint candidate choice experiments into surveys in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. We test the importance of two contextual factors thought to mitigate voters' punishment of corrupt politicians: how widespread corruption is and whether it brings side benefits. Like other scholars, we find that corruption decreases candidate support substantially. But, we also find that information that corruption is widespread does not lessen the sanction applied against corruption, whereas information about the side benefits from corruption does, and does so to a similar degree as the mitigating role of permissible attitudes toward bribery. Moreover, those who stand to gain from these side benefits are less likely to sanction corruption.
- survey experiment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science