Turning a Blind Eye Experimental Evidence of Partisan Bias in Attitudes Toward Corruption

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Abstract

This article considers how partisanship conditions attitudes toward
corruption. Stirred by the puzzle of why corruption does not seem to have
the electoral consequences we would expect, it explores whether party
supporters are more tolerant toward corruption cases when they affect
their own party. The partisan-bias hypothesis is confirmed by a survey
experiment carried out in Spain, a country where a number of corruption
scandals have been recently visible. The results show that the same offense
is judged differently depending on whether the responsible politician is a
member of the respondent’s party, of unknown partisan affiliation, or of a
rival party. Furthermore, the degree of partisan bias depends on political
sophistication. This suggests that although partisanship may induce tolerance
to same-party corruption practices, the partisan bias disappears when
political awareness is high.


Anduiza, Eva, Aina Gallego, and Jordi Muñoz. “Turning a Blind Eye Experimental Evidence of Partisan Bias in Attitudes Toward Corruption.” Comparative Political Studies 46.12 (2013): 1664-1692.

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