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 published federal contracts and registered campaign contributions for 2004-2015, linked to each other on the company level. We develop corruption …

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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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