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. British Journal of Poltical Science. Published online: 24 August 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000461

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 …

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Red tape, bribery and government favouritism: evidence from Europe

Mihály Fazekas: Red tape, bribery and government favouritism: evidence from Europe. Crime, Law and Social Change (2017). URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10611-017-9694-2

Red tape has long been identified as a major cause of corruption, hence deregulation was advocated as an effective anticorruption tool, an advice which many country followed. However, we lack robust systematic evidence on whether deregulation actually lowers corruption. This is partially due to the difficulty of defining what is good regulation, but also to the lack of theoretical clarity about which type of corruption regulations impact on and to the deficient measurement of different types of corruption. In order to …

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Infrastructure for Whom? Corruption Risks in Infrastructure Provision Across Europe

Mihály Fazekas, Bence Tóth: Infrastructure for Whom? Corruption Risks in Infrastructure Provision Across Europe. In: The Governance of Infrastructure. Ed.: Wegrich K, Kostka G, Hammerschmid G. Hertie School of Governance, 9 March 2017. URL: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-governance-of-infrastructure-9780198787310?cc=gb&lang=en&#

Infrastructure provision from roads to sanitation involves large amounts of public funds in highly complex projects comprehensible only to a few. Hence, 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 is amply evidenced by countless scandals and trials, perception surveys and increasingly ‘objective’ data on corruption risks. Central- …

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Careers, Connections, and Corruption Risks: Investigating the Impact of Bureaucratic Meritocracy on Public Procurement Processes

Nicholas Charron, Carl Dahlström, Viktor Lapuente, Mihály Fazekas (2017). Careers, Connections, and Corruption Risks: Investigating the Impact of Bureaucratic Meritocracy on Public Procurement Processes. The Journal of Politics, Vol. 79, No. 1, January 2017. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5699/slaveasteurorev2.95.issue-1

This article emphasizes the important interplay between politics and bureaucracy. It suggests that corruption risks are lower when bureaucrats’ careers do not depend on political connections but on their peers. We test this hypothesis with a novel measure of career incentives in the public sector—using a survey of more than 18,000 public sector employees in 212 European regions—and a new objective corruption risk measure …

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Breaking the cycle? How (not) to use political finance regulations to counter public procurement corruption

Fazekas, M and Cingolani, L (2017). Breaking the cycle? How (not) to use political finance regulations to counter public procurement corruption. In: The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 95, No. 1, January 2017. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5699/slaveasteurorev2.95.issue-1

There are widespread perceptions and countless documented cases of tight-knit networks of politicians and businessmen colluding for allocating public procurement contracts in return for political party donations. In the absence of systematic evidence, neither the magnitude of the problem nor the effectiveness of policies curbing such corruption is well-understood. In order to advance our understanding of these phenomena, this paper tests whether political financing …

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From Corruption to State Capture. A New Analytical Framework with Empirical Applications from Hungary

Fazekas, M. – Tóth, I. J. (2016): From Corruption to State Capture. A New Analytical Framework with Empirical Applications from Hungary. Political Research Quarterly, published online before print on March 24, 2016 

http://prq.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/03/18/1065912916639137.abstract

State capture and corruption are widespread phenomena across the globe, but their empirical study still lacks sufficient analytical tools. This paper develops a new conceptual and analytical framework for gauging state capture based on microlevel contractual networks in public procurement. To this end, it establishes a novel measure of corruption risk in government contracting focusing on the behavior of individual organizations. Then, it identifies clusters of high-corruption-risk …

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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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