We estimate the effects of political accountability on the selection of politicians when accountability mechanisms are prone to political capture. We compare the characteristics of candidates running in municipalities where the previous incumbent was ousted from office through a recall referendum with those who run where the recall referendum failed by a small margin. Having a recalled incumbent in the previous term causes a negative selection of candidates in terms of their education and previous experience. They are also less representative of indigenous groups. The results are driven by localities where the accountability institution is likely used for political purposes.

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