Cabinets, Prime Ministers and Corruption. A Comparative Analysis of Parliamentary Governments in Post-War Europe

Research output: Working paper


Why are some states more corrupt than others? Previous research explaining corruption suggests that multiparty governments are associated with higher levels of corruption since it is difficult for voters to hold parties in such cabinets accountable. Drawing on the literature on coalition governance, we suggest that a lack of government corruption has more to do with the ability of other key political actors to control the agents that have been delegated power in cabinet. We use a new dataset (Varieties of Democracy), giving us more specific measures on governmental corruption across a longer time-period. We show that corruption is significantly lower when the Prime Minister (PM) has strong constitutional powers, suggesting that the PM as a principal reduces agency problems.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


  • corruption, multiparty government, accountability, coalition governance, Varieties of Democracy, V-dem dataset, constitutional power, prime ministers
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLund
PublisherDepartment of Political Science, Lund University
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameSTANCE Working Paper Series

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Project: ResearchInternal collaboration (LU)

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