Nicholas Charron's research while affiliated with University of Gothenburg and other places

Publications (64)

Article
How does electoral competition shape parties’ use of clientelist strategies during elections? In this article, we present a theoretical framework which suggests that in contexts where electoral clientelism is present but not ubiquitous, clientelist strategies take a distinctive form by being more considered and rationally targeted at individuals an...
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High corruption perceptions among voters have been shown to have dire consequences for political participation, trust in institutions and ability to solve collective action problems. Research on corruption focussed on macro- and micro-level explanations to explain persistent corruption in developed countries. This article adds a new meso-level vari...
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Despite massive investments, studies suggest that anticorruption efforts often times fail and that countries and regions with historically deficient quality of government tend to be stuck in a vicious cycle of high levels of corruption and inadequate public service delivery. However, this study suggests that despite the stickiness of subnational qu...
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While Western democracies have become increasingly gender-equal over the past decades, recent research documents a backlash against gender equality in the form of rising modern sexism. Previous research shows that modern sexism predicts political attitudes and voting behavior that are detrimental to women's empowerment and liberalism. Yet, we know...
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What are the sources of public support for international aid in times of crises? This paper investigates the determinants of public support for the EU Covid-19 aid package (‘NextGenerationEU’, NGEU), the largest aid package in EU history. Using what is to the best of our knowledge the first EU-wide study of public opinion on the Covid-19 rescue pac...
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Why have some territories performed better than others in the fight against COVID‐19? This paper uses a novel dataset on excess mortality, trust and political polarization for 165 European regions to explore the role of social and political divisions in the remarkable regional differences in excess mortality during the first wave of the COVID‐19 pa...
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While studies show a consistent negative relationship between the level of corruption and range indicators of national-level economic performance, including sovereign credit ratings, we know less about the relationship between corruption and subnational credit ratings. This study suggests that federal transfers allow states with higher levels of co...
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In response to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union has launched one of the largest assistance packages in EU history, where all 27 EU member states are asked to jointly borrow 500 billion Euros to finance grants to areas hardest hit by the crises. Despite the unprecedented size of this package, we know less about citizens’...
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Does the source of one’s news media have a systematic effect on one’s perception of political corruption? While numerous studies have investigated the extent to which media affects trust in institutions, or the polarization of political values, this study shifts the focus on to how one’s media source conceived here as social media versus traditiona...
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While recent studies find a strong association between the share of women in elected office and lower levels of corruption, we know less about if women in executive office cause reductions in corruption levels, and if such effects last over time. This study suggests that women mayors reduce corruption levels, but that the beneficial effect may be w...
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This study focuses on gender differences in voter reactions to a corruption scandal in one’s preferred party. We analyze, in a framework of ‘exit, voice and loyalty’, whether women differ from men in terms of turnout (exit), and given that they vote, whether they prefer a clean alternative party (voice) or whether they continue to vote for their pr...
Article
While retrospective models of voting posit that voters should “vote the rascals out”, a wave of recent research has found that this is rarely the case. We investigate this question in a context in which many sitting politicians have recently been indicted on corruption charges – the municipal level in Romania, a surprisingly under-researched case i...
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Do men and women perceive corruption differently? While evidence suggest that there is a strong link between gender and corruption, and that gender differences can at least partly be derived from men and women having different attitudes towards corruption, most studies to date focus on gender differences in perceptions of the scale or severity of t...
Article
As the European Union enters into the next decade, its leaders seemingly strive towards more future integration rather than less, despite the recent setback of Brexit and the rise of anti-EU populist parties. In his state of the Union in 2018, Jean Claude Junker emphasized several ways forward - ‘European solidarity’, ‘rejection of exaggerated nati...
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Several recent studies show that citizens’ identification with Europe is one of the most important determinants of support for EU integration, that may also hold the key to greater economic solidarity and support for international redistribution. This article proposes a multidimensional conception of European identity, and that citizens’ support fo...
Article
For many social scientists, government intervention is linked to low levels of social trust and corruption, while others associate it with high trust and low corruption. We aim to reconcile these contrasting views by distinguishing the opposing effects of trust on two alternative types of government intervention: regulation and redistribution. We a...
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While the European Union is plagued by considerable social and economic inequality, not least in the wake of both the enlargement of the Union and the financial crises, we know surprisingly little about the sources of public support for redistribution and the EU:s most significant tool for reducing inequalities: Cohesion Policy. We suggest that, wh...
Article
A wave of recent cross‐national research has pointed to the positive consequences for countries with high levels of ‘quality of government’ (QoG), broadly defined, such as corruption, impartiality, and quality of public services (Mauro 2004; Norris 2012; Holmberg et al 2009). Yet the question of how QoG varies at the sub‐national level is still wid...
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The European Quality of Government Index (EQI) is the only measure of institutional quality available at the regional level in the European Union. The index, published in 2010 and again in 2013, is based on an ad-hoc survey that measures three different broad aspects of governance within countries: corruption, impartiality and quality. The EQI is a...
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Disappointed by the numerous failures of anticorruption reforms, international organisations, scholars and policy makers increasingly place their hopes on measures aimed at enhancing gender equality and in particular increasing the inclusion of female representatives in elected assemblies. Yet most studies to date focus on aggregate measures of cor...
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What factors explain public support for international redistribution? While the European Union has sent billions of taxpayers' money to over indebted euro countries in an attempt to avoid an economic collapse, these transfers have encountered fierce resistance among both donor and recipient constituents. However, we know surprisingly little about w...
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While democratic accountability is widely expected to reduce corruption, citizens to a surprisingly large extent opt to forgo their right to protest and voice complaints, and refrain from using their electoral right to punish corrupt politicians. This article examines how grand corruption and elite collusion influence electoral accountability, in p...
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Why do officials in some countries favor entrenched contractors, while others assign public contracts more impartially? This article emphasizes the important interplay between politics and bureaucracy. It suggests that corruption risks are lower when bureaucrats' careers do not depend on political connections but on their peers. We test this hypoth...
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Since the late nineteenth century, the presence of an independent and meritocratic bureaucracy has been posited as an advantage for effective bureaucratic behaviour and a means of limiting patrimonial networks and corruption, among other benefits. There is little consensus on how the features of an independent and meritocratic bureaucracy should be...
Article
Generalized trust has become a prominent concept at the nexus of several disciplines, and the wide differences in trust between different societies continue to puzzle the social sciences. In this study, we explore the effects of micro and macro level factors in explaining an individual's propensity to ‘trust others'. We hypothesize that higher leve...
Article
What regional factors can explain the heterogeneity in Structural Funds distribution to European Union regions? Past studies have shown that aside from the level of economic development and rates of unemployment, other political, and economic factors systematically explain why certain European Union regions receive greater funding than others, in p...
Article
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Why do officials in some countries favor entrenched contractors while others assign public contracts more impartially? This paper emphasizes the important interplay between politics and bureaucracy. It suggests that corruption risks are lower when bureaucrats’ careers do not depend on political connections, but on their peers. We test this hypothes...
Article
What is the impact of corruption on citizens' voting behavior? There is a growing literature on an increasingly ubiquitous puzzle in many democratic countries: that corrupt officials continue to be re-elected by voters. In this study we address this issue with a novel theory and newly collected original survey data for 24 European countries. The cr...
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With this paper we put forward a novel theoretical argument that the individual’s subjective evaluations of the quality of government (QoG) in terms of its impartiality influences his or her complex assessments of the opportunity and feasibility of a business venture, and calculations on expected long-term utility from business venturing. This in t...
Technical Report
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Why do officials in some countries favor entrenched contractors while others assign public contracts more impartially? According to the research, such variation responds to differences in political institutions, economic development and historical preconditions. This paper instead emphasizes the interplay between politics and bureaucracy. It sugges...
Article
How well do corruption perception measures reflect actual levels of public sector corruption? Leading cross-national corruption perception measures have come under much theoretical and empirical scrutiny in recent years, with serious implications for the validity and reliability of the data in this ever growing sub-field. Critics argue that percept...
Chapter
Although corruption voting, that is, the extent to which the voters punish corrupt politicians and under what circumstances they do so, has been an increasingly hot topic during the last decade, relatively little attention has been paid to the ‘award-side’ of the equation, that is, the extent of voter support for parties and candidates whose main c...
Article
In this article, two unexplored trends in European electoral politics are highlighted. Using newly collected data the article tracks the politicisation of corruption in electoral campaigns from 1981 to 2011, an electoral strategy that has been increasing over time in most European countries. It then empirically tests two aspects of this campaign st...
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Do aspects of quality of government, broadly defined, such as corruption, impartiality, and quality of public services, vary below the country level? The concept of quality of government (QoG) and various measures to assess it have become more ubiquitous in several social science disciplines. QoG is related with economic and social development, bet...
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Charron N., Dijkstra L. and Lapuente V. Regional governance matters: quality of government within European Union member states, Regional Studies. This study presents novel data (European QoG Index – EQI) on the ‘quality of government’ (QoG) – understood as low corruption, impartial public services and rule of law – for national and sub-national lev...
Article
Bauhr, Monika, Nicholas Charron, and Naghmeh Nasiritousi. (2013) Does Corruption Cause Aid Fatigue? Public Opinion and the Aid-Corruption Paradox. International Studies Quarterly, doi: 10.1111/isqu.12025 © 2013 International Studies Association Does perceived corruption in recipient countries reduce support for foreign aid in donor countries? This...
Article
While most of the quantitative literature on quality of government has focused on national differences, subnational variation has been neglected, mainly due to the lack of data. This study explores subnational divergences in quality of government (understood as control of corruption, impartial treatment of citizens, and government effectiveness) us...
Article
What is the extent to which a country's political institutions impact aggregate voting behavior in a comparative perspective? More specifically, are citizens in some countries more inclined vote on the basis of 'quality' or 'merit' over 'friendship' or 'loyalty', and if so, why? This paper seeks to address how the extent to which a country's politi...
Book
In this book the authors tackle the concept of 'quality of government' (QoG) both conceptually and empirically and apply their focus to EU countries and regions. In a pioneering empirical effort, they map out regional QoG for the first time for 172 NUTS 1 and 2 regions throughout 18 countries in the EU, and provide a detailed methodology. They foll...
Article
Why do increases in globalisation in the face of European expansion lead to sharp levels of regional divergences in wealth in some countries but not in others? The central crux of this paper is that convergence/divergence trends in European states are conditioned by ‘state capacity’. State capacity – which we define here as a combination of imparti...
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This paper argues that government quality – operationalized as the ability of government to treat all their citizens in an impartial way – levels the ‘playing field’ for economic agents with and without connections to politicians and administrators in government, therefore encouraging entrepreneurial minded individuals to start or develop their bus...
Article
â–º We examine variation in judicial institutions, financial laws, and quality of institutions on 31 OECD states. â–º We critique Legal Origins Theory (LOT) both theoretically and empirically. â–º We provide an alternative theory “State Origins Theoryâ€, coding state infrastructures as “bureaucratic†or “patrimonialâ€. â–º We test the two th...
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In the theoretical literature on government design, few variables have received more attention than the size of the polity. Since Plato’s famous prediction that the optimal size of a political unit should be 5040 free citizens, the list of thinkers concerned about state size would include Aristotle, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and many of the founding f...
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This study deals with the effects of authoritarian regimes on state capacity or the quality of government (QoG): do some types of dictatorship (military, monarchy, and civilian) perform better than others? More importantly, which are the mechanisms through which different authoritarian rulers produce better government? The article argues theoretica...
Article
This article explores the relationship between the party system, electoral formulas and corruption. Previous research has focused on the various incentives for political actors to monitor, or engage in corruption based on variations in the electoral formula. However, the electoral formula has mainly served as a proxy for the party system – whether...
Article
Though many studies have referred to an “anti-corruption movement” beginning in the 1990s by major international organizations, none has empirically tested its effectiveness on corruption. The data show that from 1997 onward, the impact of multilateral aid is strongly and robustly associated with lower corruption levels, while bilateral aid is show...
Article
Several leading indicators of corruption point to a serious problem in India on the whole. Yet what can explain the substantial variance of corruption levels perceived and experienced by citizens across various Indian states? Surprisingly little research in the field has addressed this important question. This article elucidates several relevant an...
Article
This article analyses the effects of political regimes over state capacity or the quality of government (QoG): Do democratic states perform better than authoritarian ones? Previous studies point to a nonlinear relationship between democracy and government quality. It is argued here that QoG is a function of both forces of supply (leaders who have t...
Article
Many in the media have depicted conflicts between the Western and Muslim worlds as a ‘Clash of Civilizations’ (CoC), and this has revived many of the questions surrounding the value of Samuel Huntington’s CoC theory. Previous empirical tests have analysed his theory using low-level conflict at the interstate level or violent conflict at the subnati...
Article
The analyses in this study demonstrate a more nuanced understanding of a previously understood phenomenon - that openness has a negative relationship with corruption. It is argued that this relationship is substantially influenced by the domestic context, a relationship that has been underdeveloped by previous empirical studies. Focusing on social...
Article
Recent empirical studies have demonstrated that ethno-linguistic diversity has a negative relationship with quality of government (QoG). In response to this challenge, states have two broad options with respect to vertical power-sharing. One, they can attempt to integrate various factions by adopting a unitary, centralized constitution. Two, they c...
Article
This study examines how coalition governments affect the size of government, measured by total central government expenditure as a share of GDP. Existing studies suggest that multiparty governments spend more because they have a larger number of parties, greater ideological fragmentation, and more veto players. We demonstrate that coalition governm...
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This paper explores the importance of sub-national vis-à-vis national differences in good governance, control of corruption or what in the literature is known as quality of government (QoG). Methodologically the paper uses both a large-N quantitative analysis and qualitative case studies to elucidate variation in QoG across and within E.U. countrie...
Article
This project seeks to comprehensively understand the relationship between power-sharing/ veto institutions and the size of a government’s public sector. Specifically, I examine the horizontal and vertical power-sharing institutions of political parties and federalism respectively. Building on a comprehensive literature of the relationship between p...

Citations

... The emphasis of the survey is to gauge the extent to which respondents believe their sub-national authorities administer services impartially and with a low degree of corruption. The survey has undertaken four rounds since 2010, with the latest round in 2021 (Charron et al. 2022). The advantage with this survey is the sub-national focus of the questions, the sample size per region, along with several corruption-oriented questions being asked with the same formulation over four waves, ensuring comparability over time. ...
... For instance, the degree of polarization of a country could affect the voters' turnout [17,18]. Finally, recent works have also analyzed the impact of political ideology and polarization on the COVID-19 pandemic [19][20][21][22]. ...
... Instead, the literature has stressed the importance of non-economic cultural orientations or dispositions, such as altruism, cosmopolitanism (Bechtel, Hainmueller and Margalit 2014;Kuhn, Solaz and van Elsas 2018) and political ideology, with the latter conditional on social class (Kleider and Stoeckel 2019). Early studies on EU redistribution preferences during the COVID-19 pandemic have again focused on the 'redistribution from' dimension and have largely replicated earlier findings (Bauhr and Charron 2021;Baute and de Ruijter 2021). ...
... Furthermore, the status of women politicians (government or opposition) can make a difference in controlling corruption (Benito, 2016). Thus, women leading the government (female mayors) are more likely to reduce corruption levels, although the effects do not seem to last over time due to existing exogenous factors (Bauhr & Charron, 2020). ...
... e text preprocessing stage is the process of transforming text data into structured data. Firstly, this paper uses Python new media crawler technology to form a data set of the crawled new media news, then Chinese word segmentation is carried out on the text, the text is cut into scattered independent word sets, part of speech tagging is carried out on each word, and a stop vocabulary is constructed to remove irrelevant interference words [26]. News text has no fixed structure, no uniform format, and cannot be directly identified. ...
... In the same vein, Chattopadhyay and Duflo (2004) show that, in the local government of India, elected women increase public good spending relevant to the needs of their gender. There is evidence that women are generally considered more likely to engage in "helping behavior" (Bauhr and Charron, 2020). ...
... Thus, while the vast majority of studies that investigate public support for the EU do not investigate support for fiscal redistribution, there is a growing literature that seeks to explain public support for within EU fiscal redistribution, including intra EU financial assistance, bailouts or cohesion policy (see i.e. Bechtel et al. 2014;Bauhr and Charron 2018;Bauhr and Charron 2020a;Charron and Bauhr 2020;Daniele and Geys 2015;Kuhn and Stoeckel 2014;Kleider and Stoeckel 2019;Stoeckel and Kuhn 2018). Studies note that the determinants of fiscal redistribution may be different from the determinants of general support for the EU both since the costs of these reforms are more concrete (i.e. can more easily be expressed in euros or dollars) and general EU support may be more related to support for a common market than financial solidarity and preferences for redistribution (Kuhn and Stoeckel 2014). ...
... We consider studies that focus on the level of corruption as a whole rather than the result of features contributing to the definition of the level of corruption. Bågenholm and Charron (2020) found that in contexts with higher rates of unemployment, involvement in more serious cases of corruption did not reduce the chances of re-election and had insignificant effects on voter turnout. Ferraz and Finan (2011) found an inverse relationship between the seriousness of corruption, in monetary terms, and the reelection of corrupt mayors in contexts characterised by higher levels of education. ...
... Related to hypothesis 3, we try to disentangle the role of formal institutions from economic development looking at quality of regional governance and strength of entrepreneurial ecosystems. For the former, we use the Quality of Government (QOG) index from the QoG EU Regional dataset (Charron et al. 2014(Charron et al. , 2016, based on 16 different measures of impartiality, corruption and quality in public services, which has been recently employed to explore the link between government institutions and regional innovative and economic performance (Rodríguez-Pose and Di Cataldo 2014; Rodríguez-Pose and Garcilazo 2015). The latter is based on the Regional Entrepreneurship and Development Index (REDI), developed by Szerb et al. (2013). ...
... Given previous economic crises and a set of resulting bailouts, a sub-field within this literature has focused on the political consequences of the EU stepping from 'regulation to redistribution' (Borzel, 2016: 14), with an emphasis on public support for inter-EU economic solidarity, and EU economic governance in general (for example, Daniele and Geys, 2015;Kuhn and Stoeckel, 2014;Bechtel, Hainmueller, and Margalit, 2014;Margalit, 2017, Bauhr andCharron, 2018). Empirical studies suggest that latent individual-level factors significantly explain patterns in public opinion, such as cosmopolitanism, altruism, egalitarianism (Bechtel, Hainmueller, and Margalit, 2014;Ciornei and Recchi, 2017) trust in institutions and perceptions of corruption (Bauhr and Charron, 2020b;Bauhr and Charron, 2018;Daniele and Geys, 2015), left-right ideology (Kleider and Stoeckel, 2019;Bansak et al., 2020), or various types of identity (Kuhn and Stoeckel, 2014;Verhaegen, 2018 Bauhr andCharron, 2020a), along with the nearly universal finding that higher education is positively related with greater support for within-EU fiscal redistribution. Interestingly, studies on public support for EU redistribution tend to point to more limited evidence for that factors associated with economic self-interest systematically explain attitudes support, yet some point to national-level self-interest as a key exception (Kuhn and Stoeckel, 2014;Bobzien and Kalleitner, 2020). ...