A growing body of literature has emerged that examines the contributions of mid-level institutions of accountability (e.g., public ministries, federal police, and electoral courts) in curbing corruption. Notably absent here is the Defensor del Pueblo (ombudsman). This study posits that, under the right conditions, these nonsanctioning bodies have several tools at their disposal that can be leveraged against state actors to reduce corruption. The ombudsman’s unique links to the public (or principal) and external actors allow it to function like a “fourth estate,” but the strength of the office to act as an effective deterrent to corruption is endogenous to the system and actors that created this office. This study conducts a two-stage least squares regression analysis for 17 Latin American countries (2000–2011), provides support for these expectations, and suggests that the ombudsman is beginning to deliver on its promise, at least with respect to corruption.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations
- Sociology and Political Science