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Judicial presence and rent extraction
Litschig, Stephan; Zamboni, Yves
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We estimate the effect of state judiciary presence on rent extraction in Brazilian local governments.We measure rents as irregularities related to waste or corruption uncovered by auditors.Our unique dataset at the level of individual inspections allows us to separately examine extensiveand intensive margins of rent extraction. The identification strategy is based on an institutionalrule of state judiciary branches according to which prosecutors and judges tend to be assigned tothe most populous among contiguous counties forming a judiciary district. Our research designexploits this rule by comparing counties that are largest in their district to counties with identicalpopulation size from other districts in the same state, where they are not the most populous. IVestimates suggest that state judiciary presence reduces the share of inspections with irregularitiesrelated to waste or corruption by about 10 percent or 0.3 standard deviations. In contrast, we findno effect on the intensive margin of rent extraction. Finally, our estimates suggest that judicialpresence reduces rent extraction only for first-term mayors.
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
local governments.
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