In-Group Loyalty and the Punishment of Corruption

Hector Solaz, Catherine E. De Vries, Roosmarijn A. de Geus

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study suggests that in-group loyalty, defined as the degree to which people favor their own group over others, undermines the punishment of corruption. We present evidence from two studies. First, we utilize a real-world corruption scandal involving the ruling party in Spain that broke during survey fieldwork. People exposed to the scandal withhold support from the incumbent, but in-group loyalty based on partisanship weakens this effect. Second, we explore in-group loyalty beyond partisanship through laboratory experiments. These experiments artificially induce group identities, randomly assign the group identity of candidates and shut down any instrumental benefits of in-group loyalty. The experimental evidence suggests that people support corrupt candidates as long as they share a group identity and are willing to sacrifice material payoffs to do so. Our findings have important implications. Most importantly perhaps, they suggest that candidates can get away with corruption by engaging in identity politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalComparative Political Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Sep 2018

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loyalty
corruption
penalty
Group
candidacy
scandal
laboratory experiment
evidence
Spain
politics
experiment

Keywords

  • and voting behavior
  • corruption and patronage
  • elections
  • European politics
  • public opinion

Cite this

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In-Group Loyalty and the Punishment of Corruption. / Solaz, Hector; De Vries, Catherine E.; de Geus, Roosmarijn A.

In: Comparative Political Studies, 19.09.2018, p. 1-31.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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