Corruption and Citizens' Compliance with the Law: an Empirical Analysis


In this paper, I empirically analyze the effect of the disclosure of corruption cases on citizens’ compliance with the law. To do so, I use data on corruption cases generated by the Brazilian anti-corruption plan, “Programa de Fiscalização em Entes Federativos,” which audits municipalities for their use of federal funds. The random selection of municipalities to be audited provides a straightforward empirical strategy. I measure non-compliance with the law by citizens using data on traffic offenses at the municipal level. My main results indicate that the disclosure of corruption cases at the municipal level increases per capita traffic offenses by 1.2% and an additional case of corruption disclosed increases traffic offenses per capita by 0.4%. These estimates are small and not statistically different from zero. Therefore, I cannot conclude that the disclosure of corruption impacts citizens' compliance with the law.

Working Paper
Nicolas Guida-Johnson
Nicolas Guida-Johnson
Ph.D. in Economics

I am an Assistant Professor of Economics at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.