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Transparency, Elections, and Pakistani Politicians’ Tax Compliance

Malik, Rabia (2020) 'Transparency, Elections, and Pakistani Politicians’ Tax Compliance.' Comparative Political Studies, 53 (7). pp. 1060-1091. ISSN 0010-4140

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A growing literature on political accountability focuses on the extent to which voters electorally punish politicians when provided with credible negative information about politicians’ actions. Whether politicians respond to information provision by changing their behavior—thus appearing accountable to voters—is an integral part of this puzzle but has received comparatively little attention. I address this gap by exploiting an unforeseen decision by the Pakistani government to publicly release legislators’ past income tax payments, and measure the effect of the information provision on their tax payments in the following year. Using new data on politicians’ asset ownership and tax payments in a difference-in-differences research design, I provide strong evidence that the pressure to decrease tax evasion was highest for competitively and directly elected legislators. These heterogeneous effects are not explained by differences between legislators or electoral constituencies, supporting the hypothesis that electoral incentives condition legislator responsiveness to information shocks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: political accountability, electoral incentives, Pakistan
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2020 15:03
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2022 14:39

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