The vast majority of people across the globe lives in countries characterized by high levels of corruption, commonly defined as the public misuse of private gains. Although the exact costs of corruption are difficult to estimate, research suggests that corruption is bad for economic and social development. Not only has corruption been shown to have a detrimental effect on a country's economy, the ability to generate tax revenue and social equality, the political effects of corruption are also considerable. Owing to its association with weak state capacity, corruption may damage the ability of governments to craft and implement policies in areas in which continued intervention and investment is needed and their capacity to respond quickly and effectively to sudden shocks. Owing to these undesirable outcomes, elections are supposed to curb corruption because voters will throw the rascals out. Recent research, however, suggests that more often than not corruption goes unpunished at the ballot box. This essay sets out possible research avenues to find out why this is the case.
De Vries, C.E. and Solaz, H., 2015. Corruption and Electoral Accountability: Avenues for Future Research. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource, pp.1-13.