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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Measuring Corrupt Rent Extraction by Tracking the Misuse of Corporate Vehicles

Fazekas, M. and Tóth, B. (2016). Measuring Corrupt Rent Extraction by Tracking the Misuse of Corporate Vehicles. Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

This proposal was prepared for the U4 Anticorruption Resource Center’s Proxy Challenge 2016. This year’s proxy challenge competition received 24 submissions and for our greatest pleasure, GTI’s team won the competition. The proposal was presented by Mihály Fazekas and Bence Tóth at the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama, 1-4 December.

The proxy indicator looks at the exchanges between private companies and public bodies. The proxy makes it possible to identify potentially corrupt transactions and companies specifically designed for corrupt …

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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. (2013). Are EU funds a corruption risk? – The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe. GTI-WP/2013:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The paper explores the impact of EU funds on institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement between 2009-2012 in three countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. We analyse a unique pooled database containing contract-level public procurement information for all three countries. We develop a composite corruption risks indicator based on the incidence and logical structure of ‘red flags’ in individual public procurement transactions. …

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Corruption manual for beginners – “Corruption techniques” in public procurement with examples from Hungary

Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J., King,  L. P. (2013). Corruption manual for beginners – “Corruption techniques” in public procurement with examples from Hungary. GTI-WP/2013:01, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

This paper develops 30 novel quantitative indicators of grand corruption that operationalize 20 distinct techniques of corruption in the context of public procurement. Each indicator rests on a thorough qualitative understanding of rent extraction from public contracts by corrupt networks as evidenced by academic literature, interviews and media content analysis. Feasibility and usefulness of the proposed indicators are demonstrated using micro-level public procurement data from Hungary in 2009-2012. While the prime value …

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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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