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Extra info for Corruption, Development and Institutional Design (International Economic Association Conference Volume No. 145)
To conclude, we predict that PLURALITY rule voting will do a better job at controlling corrupt political rent-seeking than PR, especially CLPR. The cost of PLURALITY rule may be a political system that focuses on providing benefits to narrow ranges of constituents in key districts, but that is simply the consequence of the more individualized nature of politics. Under PLURALITY rule, corrupt opportunities for personal gain will be concentrated in just those political actors who are best able to be monitored by voters, and the two-party system that frequently results will give opponents an incentive to uncover scandals at any level.
Of course, in practice, such systems do not exist. The analytical problem here is that district magnitude and the percentage of legislators elected on party lists are not independent variables but rather move together in opposite directions as the system moves from proportional to majoritarian. Our findings about mixed systems help one to understand these two contradictory tendencies. 2 Model 2). PLU-MIXED systems increase the proportion of politicians elected on party lists, which is bad for corruption control because, we argue, it increases the power of party leaders and raises monitoring costs.
The legislators’ own preferences for pay-offs or pork will be a function of the oversight by voters, the media, and citizens groups, on the one hand, and challengers, on the other. This discussion suggests that in terms of uncovering corrupt rent-seeking, monitoring the leadership is relatively more important under PR, and monitoring the rank and file is relatively more important under PLURALITY rule. Of course, leaders may be able to garner corrupt rents under PLURALITY rule as well. Our claim is only that individual legislators have more opportunities for rent extraction under PLURALITY than under CLPR.