Corrupt Contracting: Partisan Favouritism in Public Procurement

David-Barrett, L and Fazekas, M (2016). Corrupt Contracting: Partisan Favouritism in Public Procurement. GTI-WP/2016:02, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

For politicians seeking to use a clientelist approach to achieve political and private gain, i.e., to prolong their hold on power and maximize personal profit, control of government contracting is a key tool. We theorise that politicians wishing to exploit government contracting for such ends will seek to increase their influence over three stages of public procurement – policy formation, implementation and monitoring – but that their efforts can be constrained by institutional controls and checks. We examine these influence strategies and …

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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:

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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Universalistic rules-particularistic implementation: The EU’s single market for government purchases

Fazekas, M and Skohrovec, J (2016). Universalistic rulesparticularistic implementation: The EU’s single market for government purchases. GTI-R/2016:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Open and fair access to government contracts has been a long-standing principle in many international trade agreements including the one on the EU’s single public procurement market which is probably the most extensive among them with its long standing common regulatory and enforcement framework. However, the ostensibly low prevalence of cross-border trade in European public procurement represents a troubling puzzle: only about 5% of procurement contracts are awarded to non-domestic suppliers. This is in strike contrast with overall trade …

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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

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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