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 …

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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

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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 …

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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

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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). …

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Anti-corruption interventions in development aid: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced?

Dávid-Barrett, E., Fazekas, M. (2018): Anti-corruption interventions in development aid: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced? GTI-WP/2018:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute

Most anti-corruption interventions are small-scale and targeted. Hence, there is a risk that they simply displace corruption rather than reducing it as corrupt actors adapt to the new conditions. Direct attempts at improving corruption controls in one area might elicit two evasive tactics: corrupt actors could shift focus to areas with weaker controls or could more aggressively exploit the …

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Institutional quality, campaign contributions, and favouritism in US federal government contracting

Fazekas, M., Ferrali, R., Wachs, J. (2018): Institutional quality, campaign contributions, and favouritism in US federal government contracting. GTI-WP/2018:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The corrupting power of money in US politics has long been debated with emerging evidence pointing out that campaign contributions help funnel money to politically connected companies. However, it is yet unclear how exactly such mechanisms might work and what are the curbs on politically driven contracting. To address these gaps we compile the full dataset of …

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Assessing the quality of government at the regional level using public procurement data

Fazekas, M. (2017):  Assessing the quality of government at the regional level using public procurement data. European Commission Working Papers WP 12/2017. Available online: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/information/publications/working-papers/2017/assessing-the-quality-of-government-at-the-regional-level-using-public-procurement-data

Public procurement, that is the purchase of goods and services by public entities, plays a crucial role in the development and quality of government across the European Union (EU). On average, it amounts to about 13 % of GDP or 29 % of government spending (European Commission, 2016; OECD, 2015). It is a genuinely cross-cutting …

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The effectiveness of the European Union in safeguarding competition in public procurement markets

Fazekas, M., Tóth, B. (2017):  The effectiveness of the European Union in safeguarding competition in public procurement markets. GTI-WP/2017:04, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The EU’s single market in government purchases constitutes a fundamental pillar of economic integration throughout the continent, as it amounts to 4% of GDP. If competition is deficient efficiency losses ensue. As we know surprisingly little about the effectiveness of monitoring and enforcement institutions designed to safeguard competition, we investigate whether the European Commission and the Court …

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Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: New Evidence from Contract-Level Data

Dávid-Barrett, E., Fazekas, M., Hellmann, O., Márk, L., McCorley, C. (2017):  Controlling Corruption in Development Aid:  New Evidence from Contract-Level Data. GTI-WP/2017:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

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 control how their funds are spent. At the same time, they also face pressure to trust recipient governments to disburse project funds themselves, so as to build capacity in …

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