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

Larcinese, Valentino and Sircar, Indraneel ORCID: 0000-0002-7415-2862 (2017) Crime and punishment the British way: accountability channels following the MPs’ expenses scandal. European Journal of Political Economy, 47. pp. 75-99. ISSN 0176-2680

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.12.006


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
K Law > KD England and Wales
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2016 13:50
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 03:04

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