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. Available online:

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 …

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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. RSA Regional Studies Association. Available online:

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 …

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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:

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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Corruption and the Network Structure of Public Contracting Markets across Government Change

Wachs J. and Fazekas M. (2020). Corruption and the Network Structure of Public Contracting Markets across Government Change. Politics and Governance, 8(2), pp. 153-166.

Corruption is thought to affect developed economies to a greater degree than developing countries. However, given our limited capacity to detect corruption, it may simply be harder to detect it in countries with stronger institutions. This article sets out to address this measurement challenge and to offer a tailored approach to one particular type of corruption: …

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The role of agencification in achieving value-for-money in public spending

Cingolani L. & Fazekas, M. (2020). The role of agencification in achieving value-for-money in public spending. Governance. Available online:

Agencification has been pursued globally under the promise of increasing public administration performance. In spite of ample theoretical arguments, the empirical evidence on the causal link between agencification and performance remains scarce and methodologically contested. We contribute to this debate by empirically testing the impacts of agencification across Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom on value-for-money, competitiveness, and timeliness

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Anti-corruption in aid-funded procurement: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced?

David-Barrett E. and Fazekas, M. (2020). Anti-corruption in aid-funded procurement: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced? World Development. Available online:

Given a widespread sense among donors that mainstream anti-corruption reforms over the past 25 years have failed to yield results, there is a move towards more targeted interventions. Such interventions should, in principle, overcome implementation gaps and make it easier to evaluate impact, supporting learning. However, when interventions are narrowly targeted, there is a risk that corrupt actors simply …

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Corruption risk in contracting markets: A network science perspective

Wachs,J., Fazekas, M., Kertész, J. (2020). Corruption risk in contracting markets: A network science perspective. International Journal of Data Science and Analytics. Available online.

We use methods from network science to analyze corruption risk in a large administrative dataset of over 4 million public procurement contracts from European Union member states covering the years 2008–2016. By mapping procurement markets as bipartite networks of issuers and winners of contracts, we can visualize and describe the distribution of corruption risk. We study …

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Lights on the shadows of public procurement: Transparency as an antidote to corruption

Bauhr, M., Czibik, Á., Fazekas, M., and de Fine Licht, J. (2019). Lights on the Shadows of Public Procurement. Transparency as an antidote to corruption. Governance, 33(3).

The increased focus on marketizing mechanisms and contracting‐out operations following the New Public Management reform agenda has sparked a debate on whether the close interactions between public and private actors might drive corruption in the public sector. The main response to those worries has been increased transparency, but so far empirical evidence of …

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