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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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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