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Scandal, protection, and recovery in the cabinet

Dewan, Torun and Myatt, David P. (2007) Scandal, protection, and recovery in the cabinet. American Political Science Review, 101 (1). pp. 63-77. ISSN 1537-5943

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0003055407070025


Empirical evidence suggests that a prime minister benefits from firing ministers who are involved in political scandals.We explore a model in which scandals are positively related to policy activism, so that a prime minister may wish to protect a minister from resignation calls. We find that protection can sometimes discourage activism: it enhances the value of a minister’s career and hence encourages him to “sit tight” by moderating his activities. On the other hand, an exogenous increase in exposure to scandals may lead a minister to “live for today” by pursuing controversial policies. The primeminister’s ability to protect ministers is limited by her short-term incentive to fire. She may, however, enhance her credibility by building a collective reputation with the cabinet; the heterogeneity of cabinet membership plays an important role.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 American Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2009 11:44
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2024 01:21

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