Networked Corruption Risks in European Defence Procurement

Czibik, Á., Fazekas, M., Sanchez, A.H., Wachs, J. (2021). Networked Corruption Risks in European Defense Procurement. In: Granados, O.M., Nicolás-Carlock, J.R. (eds) Corruption Networks. Understanding Complex Systems. Springer, Cham.

In this chapter we study corruption risks in EU defence procurement. Defense procurement has long been thought to present significant potential for corruption and state capture. Using a large dataset of contracts covering nearly ten years and applying an objective corruption risk indicator, we find strong empirical support for this …

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Development aid contracts database: World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and EuropeAid

Fazekas, M., Abdou, A., Kazmina, Y. and Regős, N. (2022). Development aid contracts database: World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and EuropeAid. Data in Brief, Volume 42, 1-16. 

This article presents a global database of government contracts funded by the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and EuropeAid, principally from the years 2000-2017. The contract-level data were directly collected from the official contract publication sites of these organisations using webscraping methods. While the source publication formats are diverse both over time …

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Public procurement under and after emergencies

Fazekas, M., Nishchal, S. and Søreide, T. (2021): Public procurement under and after emergencies. In Bandiera, O., Bosio, E. and Spagnolo, G. (Ed.), Procurement in Focus – Rules, Discretion, and Emergencies. London: CEPR Press. pp.33-42. 

Covid-19 has served as a global case study for increased discretion in public procurement, with governments worldwide making rules more flexible to increase spending, reduce the damage, and save lives. This CEPR eBook provides fascinating insights into the tension between rules and discretion in public …

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Can impact assessments tame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe

Brenner, D., & Fazekas, M. (2021). Can impact assessmentstame legislative drift? Event history analysis of modifications of laws across Europe.Governance, available online:

Laws should endure and change only if assumed benefits don’t materialize over time. Yet frequent modifications of laws shortly after their enactment distort this compromise between stability and change. While, Impact Assessments (IAs) are designed to improve the quality of legislation, we know little about IAs’ impact on legal stability post-enactment. We fill this gap by analysing …

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The extra-legal governance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement

Fazekas, M., Sberna, S., & Vannucci, A. (2021). The extra-legalgovernance of corruption: Tracing the organization of corruption in public procurement. Governance, available online:

This article traces the organization of corruption in public procurement, by theoretically and empirically assessing the contribution of extra-legal governance organizations (EGO) to supporting it. Theoretically, we explore the governance role played by organized criminal groups in corruption networks, facilitating corrupt transactions by lowering search costs, bargaining costs, and enforcement cots. Empirically, the analysis exploits a …

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Are Emerging Technologies Helping Win the Fight Against Corruption? A Review of the State of Evidence

Adam, I. and Fazekas, M (2021): Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption? A review of the state of evidence. Information Economics and Policy. 57,

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often thought of as a uniformly positive tool making governments more transparent, accountable, and less corrupt. However, the evidence on it is mixed and often misunderstood. Hence, this article carries out a systematic stocktaking of ICT tools’ impact on corruption, offering a nuanced and context-dependent assessment. …

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Measuring Regional Quality of Government: The Public Spending Quality Index Based on Government Contracting Data

Czibik, Á. and Fazekas, M (2021): Measuring regional quality of government: the public spending quality index based on government contracting data. Regional Studies. 55(8), pp. 1459-1472, 10.1080/00343404.2021.1902975

Government contracting is crucial for defining the quality of government and public services because it amounts to about 29% of government spending. However, regional quality of government indicators, especially for public spending, are largely missing. We assess the quality of public spending by transparency, competition, efficiency and corruption using a novel database of …

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Emergency Procurement: The Role of Big Open Data

Fazekas, Mihály, and Sánchez, Alfredo H Hernandez (2021) Emergency Procurement: The Role of Big Open Data. In S. Arrowsmith, L. Butler, A. L. Chimia and C. Yukins (eds.) Public Procurement in (a) Crisis: global lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hart Publishing. Chapter 23.

The 2020 Global Pandemic has been a watershed moment for the world economy on a scale unseen since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The COVID-19 crisis has demanded rapid government responses around the world, from the re-erection …

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Partisan Procurement. Contracting with the United States Federal Government

Dahlström, C., Fazekas, M, & Lewis, D. E., (2020), Partisan Procurement. Contracting with the United States Federal Government, 2003–2015, American Journal of Political Science. Available online:

The U.S. federal government spends huge sums buying goods and services from outside of the public sector. Given the sums involved, strategic government purchasing can have electoral consequences. In this article, we suggest that more politicized agencies show favoritism to businesses in key electoral constituencies and to firms connected to political parties. We …

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Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: New Evidence from Contract-Level Data

Dávid-Barrett, E., Fazekas, M., Hellmann, O., Márk, L. and McCorley, C. (2020). Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: New Evidence from Contract-Level Data. Studies in Comparative International Development.

Following scandals about corruption in foreign aid, and in a political climate that increasingly questions the legitimacy of development assistance, donors are under pressure to better control how their funds are spent. However, there is little evidence on precisely how to control corruption in development aid. This article assesses under which conditions donor …

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