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Crime and punishment the British way: accountability channels following the MPs' expenses scandal

Larcinese, V; Sircar, I; (2017) Crime and punishment the British way: accountability channels following the MPs' expenses scandal. European Journal of Political Economy , 47 pp. 75-99. 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.12.006. Green open access

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Abstract

Does democracy make politicians accountable? And which role does information play in the accountability process? There are several reasons making the 2009 UK expenses scandal an ideal setting to answer these questions. Our study of the scandal reaches two main conclusions: 1) the removal of corrupt politicians happens mostly at the pre-election stage; 2) information availability is a crucial ingredient in the accountability process. We also show that punishment was directed to individual MPs rather than their parties and that voters displayed a substantial partisan bias, not only at the voting stage but also by perceiving co-partisan MPs to be less involved in the scandal. Ceteris paribus, female MPs attracted more press coverage and, for the same amount of coverage, were more likely to stand down. Finally, we show that press coverage was ideologically balanced, i.e., newspapers with different ideological leaning devoted similar amount of news to each MP.

Type: Article
Title: Crime and punishment the British way: accountability channels following the MPs' expenses scandal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.12.006
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.12.006
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Mass media; accountability; corruption; voting; partisan bias; female politicians
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133428
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