Data update of World Bank, IADB, and EuropeAid datasets on development aid funded contracts and projects

The DFID-funded project “Curbing Corruption in Government Contracting” is releasing an update on the datasets collected on development projects, public tenders, and contracts for three major donor agencies: the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and EuropeAid. The datasets not only republish structured data gathered from official source websites, but also contain corruption risk red flags developed by the research team.

About the project

The project entitled “Curbing Corruption in Government Contracting” analyses how procurement can be manipulated for …

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Development aid contracts database: World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and EuropeAid

Fazekas, M., Abdou, A., Kazmina, Y. and Regős, N. (2022). Development aid contracts database: World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and EuropeAid. Data in Brief, Volume 42, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2022.108121 

This article presents a global database of government contracts funded by the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and EuropeAid, principally from the years 2000-2017. The contract-level data were directly collected from the official contract publication sites of these organisations using webscraping methods. While the source publication formats are diverse both over time …

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Public procurement under and after emergencies

Fazekas, M., Nishchal, S. and Søreide, T. (2021): Public procurement under and after emergencies. In Bandiera, O., Bosio, E. and Spagnolo, G. (Ed.), Procurement in Focus – Rules, Discretion, and Emergencies. London: CEPR Press. pp.33-42. 

Covid-19 has served as a global case study for increased discretion in public procurement, with governments worldwide making rules more flexible to increase spending, reduce the damage, and save lives. This CEPR eBook provides fascinating insights into the tension between rules and discretion in public …

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Can impact assessments tame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe

Brenner, D., & Fazekas, M. (2021). Can impact assessmentstame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe.Governance, available online: https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12649

Laws should endure and change only if assumed benefits don’t materialize over time. Yet frequent modifications of laws shortly after their enactment distort this compromise between stability and change. While, Impact Assessments (IAs) are designed to improve the quality of legislation, we know little about IAs’ impact on legal stability post-enactment. We fill this gap by analysing …

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The extra-legal governance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement

Fazekas, M., Sberna, S., & Vannucci, A. (2021). The extra-legalgovernance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement. Governance, available online: https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12648

This article traces the organization of corruption in public procurement, by theoretically and empirically assessing the contribution of extra-legal governance organizations (EGO) to supporting it. Theoretically, we explore the governance role played by organized criminal groups in corruption networks, facilitating corrupt transactions by lowering search costs, bargaining costs, and enforcement cots. Empirically, the analysis exploits a …

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Are Emerging Technologies Helping Win the Fight Against Corruption? A Review of the State of Evidence

Adam, I. and Fazekas, M (2021): Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption? A review of the state of evidence. Information Economics and Policy. 57, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infoecopol.2021.100950

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often thought of as a uniformly positive tool making governments more transparent, accountable, and less corrupt. However, the evidence on it is mixed and often misunderstood. Hence, this article carries out a systematic stocktaking of ICT tools’ impact on corruption, offering a nuanced and context-dependent assessment. …

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Measuring Regional Quality of Government: The Public Spending Quality Index Based on Government Contracting Data

Czibik, Á. and Fazekas, M (2021): Measuring regional quality of government: the public spending quality index based on government contracting data. Regional Studies. 55(8), pp. 1459-1472, 10.1080/00343404.2021.1902975

Government contracting is crucial for defining the quality of government and public services because it amounts to about 29% of government spending. However, regional quality of government indicators, especially for public spending, are largely missing. We assess the quality of public spending by transparency, competition, efficiency and corruption using a novel database of …

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Partisan Procurement. Contracting with the United States Federal Government

Dahlström, C., Fazekas, M, & Lewis, D. E., (2020), Partisan Procurement. Contracting with the United States Federal Government, 2003–2015, American Journal of Political Science. Available online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ajps.12574

The U.S. federal government spends huge sums buying goods and services from outside of the public sector. Given the sums involved, strategic government purchasing can have electoral consequences. In this article, we suggest that more politicized agencies show favoritism to businesses in key electoral constituencies and to firms connected to political parties. We …

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Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: New Evidence from Contract-Level Data

Dávid-Barrett, E., Fazekas, M., Hellmann, O., Márk, L. and McCorley, C. (2020). Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: New Evidence from Contract-Level Data. Studies in Comparative International Development.

Following scandals about corruption in foreign aid, and in a political climate that increasingly questions the legitimacy of development assistance, donors are under pressure to better control how their funds are spent. However, there is little evidence on precisely how to control corruption in development aid. This article assesses under which conditions donor …

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How to define and measure corruption

Mungiu-Pippidi A. and Fazekas M. (2020). How to define and measure Corruption. In Alina Mungiu-Pippidi & Paul M. Heywood (eds.) A Research Agenda for Studies of Corruption. Ch. 2. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

The measurement of corruption is an essential part of this policy-driven intellectual endeavour. As a United Nations Development Programme review report stated: ‘To put it plainly, there is little value in a measurement if it does not tell us what needs to be fixed’ (UNDP 2008, p. 8). …

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