Cross-country evidence shows that corruption could be controlled with support from the education, free press and independent judicial systems, yet the theoretical foundation for such a connection is somewhat limited. This paper investigates the mechanisms behind the anti-corruption effect of education through civic engagement. We argue that equal universal access to education and the free press is a crucial tool for the majority of citizens to acquire the correct information needed to succeed in their anti-corruption initiatives. A simple reduced-form theoretical model, which allows for heterogeneity in educational attainment among agents, is used to explain the link between education equality and corruption. Evidence from cross-national panel data estimation between 1990 and 2005 shows the robust support for the relationship. Education equality has independent and complimentary anti-corruption effects with press freedom and the duration of democracy.
This paper develops an agency model to examine the political agency problem when the opposition and voters have options to boycott and to cast blank vote in an election with political uncertainty. This model shows the extend to which electoral boycott and blank vote casting can determine the accountability of politicians and the quality of the government through the democratic election. The main findings show that the degrees of adverse selection and moral hazard problems between politicians and voters depend primarily on incumbent's reputation and comparative strength between incumbent and opposition. Electoral outcomes in perfect Bayesian equilibrium can vary from perfect electoral accountability and efficient public goods provision to the situation where corrupt politicians face no electoral accountability and inefficient level of public goods is provided. The evidences from Thailand’s unique boycotted parliamentary election in 2006 with 33\% of blank votes share strongly support adverse selection and moral hazard arguments. Strong performance of opposition’s candidate in preceding competitive legislative election in 2005 associates with voters' strong supports from both sides for boycott in terms of blank voting. Losing a quarter of total uncontested seats to blank votes alone had put the legitimacy of TRT party into serious doubts which had forced the alleged corrupt interim Prime Mister to decline the post of Prime Minister after the Parliament had reconvened.
This paper explores the impact on internal displacement of an understudied armed conflict in Deep South provinces of Thailand. This paper uses a unique event-based dataset on armed conflict and an official migration record to identify patterns of violence that affect internal displacement between 2002-2008. The paper has, for the first time, consolidated the information of media-based daily records of violence, casualties, and its nature with migration records, creating monthly records for 303 sub-districts with GIS-coordinates in four Deep South Provinces between the border of Thailand and Malaysia. This new database contains 8,330 violent cases that resulted in 3,058 deaths and 4,677 injuries. On average, each month, sub-districts that had experienced violence recorded 5.72 net out-migrants while the sub-districts that did not experience violence recorded 5.69 net in-migrants. Using a panel data model with fixed effects, I show that high intensity and specific natures and targets of violence were associated with higher numbers of displacement in different ways. I illustrate this connection with visible trends and correlation in GIS maps. Moreover, I find that the mortality rate of the Thai-Buddhists is 3 times higher than that of the Thai-Muslims. Before the surge of violence in 2004, the Thai-Buddhist population comprised a quarter of population in this conflict area, that was once famously called the beacon of pluralism of Asia. This ethnic imbalance in the victimization needs action from policy makers or it will attenuate the peace-building process to reconcile ethnic tensions that Thailand had previously been able to avoid.