Uncovering High-Level Corruption: Cross-National Corruption Proxies Using Government Contracting Data

Fazekas, M and Kocsis, G (2015). Uncovering High-Level Corruption: Cross-National Corruption Proxies Using Government Contracting Data. GTI-WP/2015:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Measuring high-level corruption and government favouritism has been the object of extensive scholarly and policy interest with relatively little progress in the last decade. In order to address the lack of reliable indicators, this article develops two objective proxy measures of high-level corruption in public procurement: single bidding in competitive markets and a composite score of tendering ‘red flags’. Using publicly available official electronic records of over 2.8 million government contracts in 27 EU member states plus Norway in …

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Corruption in EU Funds? Europe-wide evidence on the corruption effect of EU funded public contracting

Fazekas, M. and Tóth, I. J. (2015). Corruption in EU Funds? Europe-wide evidence on the corruption effect of EU funded public contracting. GTI-WP/2015:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

It is theoretically ambiguous and empirically contested whether EU Funds contribute to lower corruption and better governance or the opposite. Many recipient countries benefit to a substantial degree with allocations amounting to 2-4% of their annual GDP. A range of positive and negative cases has been uncovered by the European Commission, national governments and the media, however, there has been no Europe-wide quantitative evaluation looking at the micro-level, arguably where corruption takes place. …

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Toolkit for detecting collusive bidding in public procurement – With examples from Hungary

Tóth, B, Fazekas, M, Czibik, Á, Tóth, I. J. (2014). Toolkit for detecting collusive bidding in public procurement – With examples from Hungary. GTI-WP/2014:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Based on a synthesis of literature to-date, this paper provides a flexible indicator set deployable as a toolkit across many countries for detecting collusive bidding in public procurement. While no one-size-fits-all approach exists in detecting collusion, robust elementary indicators and analytical tools for adapting them to local contexts can be developed. The paper delivers a conceptual definition and theoretical discussion for each indicator as well as a complex empirical assessment using data …

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From corruption to state capture: A new analytical framework with empirical applications from Hungary

Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J. (2014). From corruption to state capture: A new analytical framework with empirical applications from Hungary. GTI-WP/2014:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

State capture and corruption are widespread phenomena across the globe, but their empirical study is still highly challenging. This paper develops a new conceptual and analytical framework for gauging state capture based on micro-level contractual networks in public procurement. To this end, it first establishes a robust measure of corruption risks in public procurement transactions focusing on relationships between pairs of issuers and suppliers. Second, it searches for clusters of high corruption risk organisations in …

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Are EU funds a corruption risk? – The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe

Fazekas, M., Chvalkovska, J., Skuhrovec, J., Tóth, I. J., King,  L. P. (2013). Are EU funds a corruption risk? – The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe. GTI-WP/2013:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The paper explores the impact of EU funds on institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement between 2009-2012 in three countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. We analyse a unique pooled database containing contract-level public procurement information for all three countries. We develop a composite corruption risks indicator based on the incidence and logical structure of ‘red flags’ in individual public procurement transactions. …

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Anatomy of grand corruption: A composite corruption risk index based on objective data

Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J., King,  L. P. (2013). Anatomy of grand corruption: A composite corruption risk index based on objective data. GTI-WP/2013:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Although both the academic and policy communities have attached great importance to measuring corruption, most of the currently available measures are biased and too broad to test theory or guide policy. This article proposes a new composite indicator of grand corruption based on a wide range of elementary indicators. These indicators are derived from a rich qualitative evidence on public procurement corruption and a statistical analysis of a public procurement data in Hungary. …

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Corruption manual for beginners – “Corruption techniques” in public procurement with examples from Hungary

Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J., King,  L. P. (2013). Corruption manual for beginners – “Corruption techniques” in public procurement with examples from Hungary. GTI-WP/2013:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

This paper develops 30 novel quantitative indicators of grand corruption that operationalize 20 distinct techniques of corruption in the context of public procurement. Each indicator rests on a thorough qualitative understanding of rent extraction from public contracts by corrupt networks as evidenced by academic literature, interviews and media content analysis. Feasibility and usefulness of the proposed indicators are demonstrated using micro-level public procurement data from Hungary in 2009-2012. While the prime value …

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The Political Economy of Grand Corruption in Public Procurement in the Construction Sector of Hungary

Fazekas, M. – Lukács, P. A. – Tóth, I. J.: The Political Economy of Grand Corruption in Public Procurement in the Construction Sector of Hungary. In: Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (ed.): Government Favouritism in Europe. The Anticorruption Report Vol. 3., Barbara Budrich Publishers. Opladen – Berlin – Toronto. 2015. pp. 53-68.

Bidding companies linked to political officeholders are more likely to win in procurement tenders overall in Hungary. The share of companies that are openly connected politically winning public procurement tenders in 2005-2012 was between 5% and 31% depending on how narrowly connections are defined. This significant association is stronger in the …

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Are EU Funds a Corruption Risk? The Impact of EU Funds on Grand Corruption in Central and Eastern Europe

Fazekas, M. – Chvalkovska, J. – Skuhrovec, J. – Tóth, I. J. – King, L. P.: Are EU Funds a Corruption Risk? The Impact of EU Funds on Grand Corruption in Central and Eastern Europe. In Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (ed.): The Anticorruption Frontline. The ANTICORRP Project Vol. 2., Barbara Budrich Publishers. Opladen – Berlin – Toronto. 2014. pp. 68-89.

There is an intensifying public debate about EU Structural and Cohesion Fund’s impact on government quality in recipient countries. We test the hypothesis that EU Funds increase high-level corruption in public procurement between 2009 and 2012 in Central and Eastern Europe (Czech …

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Hidden Depths. The Case of Hungary

Fazekas, M. – King, L. P. – Tóth, I. J.: Hidden Depths. The Case of Hungary. In: Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (ed.): Controlling Corruption in Europe. The Anticorruption Report Vol. 1., Barbara Budrich Publishers. Opladen – Berlin – Toronto. 2013. pp. 74-85.

This report investigates corruption risk of EU funds spending in Hungary within the framework of the Public Procurement Law. Its finding is that in spite of what is a tight regulatory framework EU funds are likely to fuel the abuse of public spending. Even though public procurement using EU funds faces considerably more stringent regulation, their use poses much greater …

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