How to Subvert Democracy: Montesions in Peru

35 Pages Posted: 21 May 2004

See all articles by John McMillan

John McMillan

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Pablo Zoido

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

Which of the democratic checks and balances - opposition parties, the judiciary, a free press - is the most forceful? Peru has the full set of democratic institutions. In the 1990s, the secret-police chief Montesinos systematically undermined them all with bribes. We quantify the checks using the bribe prices.

Montesinos paid a television-channel owner about 100 times what he paid a judge or a politician. One single television channel's bribe was five times larger than the total of the opposition politicians' bribes. By revealed preference, the strongest check on the government's power was the news media.

JEL Classification: P16, K10, L82

Suggested Citation

McMillan, John and Zoido, Pablo, How to Subvert Democracy: Montesions in Peru (May 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=548462 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.548462

John McMillan (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Pablo Zoido

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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