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Working Paper
Political Economy
Elena Costas-Pérez

2014/27 : Political corruption and voter turnout: mobilization or disaffection?

Corruption may affect voter turnout either by mobilizing citizens to go to the polls or by promoting voter disaffection. Using Spanish local and survey data, we study whether these effects depend on partisan leanings or the timing of scandals. Our results show that repeated episodes of corruption increase the boost abstentionism. Independent voters – those with no political attachments – are the only group that that abstains in response to corruption. The incumbent’s core supporters fail to recognise corruption within their party, while both independent voters and the opposition’s core supporters report higher corruption perceptions in response to a scandal.

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