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 during the period 2006201 6. We use unique administrative datasets, enabling objective and granular measurements of reforms …

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

David-Barett E. and Fazekas, M. (2020). Anti-corruption in aid-founded 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 adapt, shifting their focus to areas with weaker controls, so that overall corruption is not reduced but merely displaced. We …

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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 the structure of these networks in each member state, identify their cores, and find that highly centralized markets tend to …

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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. (2017). Lights on the Shadows of Public Procurement. Transparency in government contracting as an antidote to corruption? Governance Special Issue:

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 its efficiency remains scant and mixed. This article argues that the beneficial effects of transparency …

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The extent and cost of corruption in transport infrastructure: New evidence from Europe

Fazekas, M. & Tóth, B. (2018). The Extent and Cost of Corruption in Transport Infrastructure: New evidence from Europe. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice. Vol. 113, July 2018, pp. 35–54.

Transport infrastructure provision from roads to waterways involves large amounts of public funds in very
complex projects. It is hardly a surprise that all across Europe, but especially in high corruption risk countries,
it is a primary target of corrupt elites. This article provides a state-of-the-art review of the literature on the cost
of corruption and estimates the level of corruption risks and associated costs in European infrastructure…

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