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

Eva Anduiza, Aina Gallego, Jordi Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


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. © The Author(s) 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1664-1692
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • attitudes toward corruption
  • corruption
  • partisanship
  • party cues
  • political knowledge
  • survey experiments


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