Elections and corruption: incentives to steal or incentives to invest?

Fazekas, M. & Hellmann, O. (2019). Elections and corruption: incentives to steal or incentives to invest? GTI-WP/2019:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Despite the fact that most political systems around the world now hold regular multi-party elections, we know little about the effect of elections on political corruption. To address this gap in the literature, we employ a multi-method research design—combining unmatched and matched quantitative comparisons with a qualitative small-N study of Indonesia and the Philippines—to analyse a novel government contracting dataset that provides objective measurements of corruption. We find that, all things being equal, corruption risks increases in the immediate …

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Agency Design, Favoritism and Procurement in the United States

Dahlström, C., Fazekas, M., & Lewis, D. E. (2019). Agency Design, Favoritism and Procurement in the United States. QoG Working Paper Series 2019:4, ISSN 1653-8919.

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 paper, we suggest that more politicized agencies show favoritism to entrepreneurs in key electoral constituencies and to firms connected to political parties. We evaluate these claims using new data on United States government contracts between 2003 and 2015. We find that executive departments, particularly more

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Auction Length and Prices: Evidence from Random Auction Closing in Brazil

Oliveira, A., Fabregas Masllovet, A. & Fazekas, M. (2019). Auction Length and Prices : Evidence from Random Auction Closing in Brazil (English). Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 8828. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. 

Electronic reverse auctions are the most used competitive method for procurement of goods and non-consulting services by the Federal Government of Brazil. These auctions are closed randomly, which perfectly satisfies fairness considerations but may be suboptimal from an efficiency perspective. There are concerns that tenders are closed too early and randomness favors bidders with algorithmic bidding software, leading to high prices. Hence, this paper investigates what …

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Administrative capacities that matter: organisational drivers of public procurement competitiveness in 32 European countries

Cingolani, L. & Fazekas, M. (2019). Administrative capacities that matter: organisational drivers of public procurement competitiveness in 32 European countries. GTI-WP/2019:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

In spite of the many efforts in the pursuit of a European single market, many barriers continue to lie ahead, as the field of public procurement illustrates. In 2015, around 40% of all high-value procurement tenders in a large pool of European countries attracted only 2 bidders or less, and only 3% of all winning companies had their offices outside the procuring country. This paper explores a rather unaccounted dimension behind the competitiveness of tenders:

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Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption in developing countries?

Adam, I., and Fazekas, M. (2019). Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption in developing countries? Pathways for Prosperity Commission Background Paper Series; no. 21. Oxford, United Kingdom

This paper systematically takes stock of the latest academic and policy literature that sheds light on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools and their impact on corruption. The tools reviewed include digital public services, crowdsourcing platforms, whistleblowing tools, transparency portals, big data, distributed ledger technology (DLT), and artificial intelligence (AI). We scrutinise the evidence on various technologies’ effectiveness, drawbacks, and even potential misuse that enables corruption. Drawing on the commonalities …

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