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 government function concerning virtually every public body from federal ministries to local state-owned utilities, making it broadly representative of the …

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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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