Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Hongli Chu, Shengmin Sun and Jian Wei (North University of China, Shandong University and Shandong University) have posted The Ranks of Corrupt Officials, the Legal Institutional Design and the Distortion of Corruption Punishment on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Based on the bribery judgment of first instance that was published by the Chinese court in 2014, we conduct the first empirical study of the relationships among the ranks of corrupt officials, legal institutional design and corruption punishment. When analyzing only the relationship between the ranks of corrupt officials and the severity of punishment, there is a distorted representation that the corruption punishment of higher-level corrupt officials is lighter. However, by considering the legal system design and controlling for the diminishing marginal effect of corruption punishment, the influences of high-ranking corrupt officials on corruption punishment change, the sentence lengths of the high-ranking corrupt officials are not shorter but longer, and the introduction of the discretionary factor of the judge also proves that judges tend to punish high-ranking corrupt officials more heavily. Thus, the cause of corruption punishment distortion is mainly due to the lag in the adjustment of the criminal law.