Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 4 > Issue 1

Corruption and Political Decay: Evidence from Bolivia

Daniel W. Gingerich, Assistant Professor, Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia, USA, dwg4c@virginia.edu
Suggested Citation
Daniel W. Gingerich (2009), "Corruption and Political Decay: Evidence from Bolivia", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 4: No. 1, pp 1-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00008003

Publication Date: 19 Mar 2009
© 2009 Daniel W. Gingerich
Political corruption,  Political networks,  Public opinion,  Comparative politics


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In this article:
Corruption and Political Decay in the Andes 
Exposure to Corruption and Aggressive Political Participation 
The Evaluation Problem 
Data and Measurement of Variables 
The Impact of Corruption Exposure on Anti-Government Protest 
Sensitivity Analysis 
Appendix A: Generalized Product Kernels 
Appendix B: Sensitivity Analysis with an Ordinal Treatment Regime 


This paper studies the impact of corruption victimization on anti-government protest. It is argued that two features of corruption victimization are relevant for understanding its impact: its intensity level and the clarity of responsibility of the ruling government. Drawing upon survey data from the 2004 Bolivia Democracy Audit, the paper finds that low levels of exposure to corruption generally do not induce a greater inclination to participate in anti-government protest behavior than no exposure at all, whereas high levels of exposure do exert a positive and substantively large impact on protest. Moreover, the paper shows that the institutional affiliations of the perpetrators of corruption are crucially important in understanding how citizens react to their victimization. When perpetrators are linked to the ruling government through patronage networks (i.e., clarity of responsibility is high), victimization is much more likely to produce anti-government protest than when no such link is present.