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It's My Money: Why Big Government May Be Good Government

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This article explores why, quite contrary to what dominant theories of corruption predict, bigger governments tend to be less corrupt than smaller ones. The findings?derived from the combination of an in-depth interview study conducted in Uganda, a cross-country, quantitative analysis, and an illustrative case study of a prominent political scandal in Sweden?reveal the important role of taxation in explaining this puzzle. Where citizens pay few direct taxes, they are less likely to feel a sense of “ownership” of the state and are thus also less likely to punish corrupt behavior. In contrast, citizens that are more heavily taxed are likely to keep track of the use of “their” money and are thus also more likely to hold corrupt public officials accountable.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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