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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How to define and measure corruption

Mungiu-Pippidi A. and Fazekas M. (2020). How to define and measure Corruption. In Alina Mungiu-Pippidi & Paul M. Heywood (eds.) A Research Agenda for Studies of Corruption. Ch. 2. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

The measurement of corruption is an essential part of this policy-driven intellectual endeavour. As a United Nations Development Programme review report stated: ‘To put it plainly, there is little value in a measurement if it does not tell us what needs to be fixed’ (UNDP 2008, p. 8). …

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Corruption and the Network Structure of Public Contracting Markets across Government Change

Wachs J. and Fazekas M. (2020). Corruption and the Network Structure of Public Contracting Markets across Government Change. Politics and Governance, 8(2), pp. 153-166.

Corruption is thought to affect developed economies to a greater degree than developing countries. However, given our limited capacity to detect corruption, it may simply be harder to detect it in countries with stronger institutions. This article sets out to address this measurement challenge and to offer a tailored approach to one particular type of corruption: …

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The role of agencification in achieving value-for-money in public spending

Cingolani L. & Fazekas, M. (2020). The role of agencification in achieving value-for-money in public spending. Governance. Available online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/gove.12452

Agencification has been pursued globally under the promise of increasing public administration performance. In spite of ample theoretical arguments, the empirical evidence on the causal link between agencification and performance remains scarce and methodologically contested. We contribute to this debate by empirically testing the impacts of agencification across Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom on value-for-money, competitiveness, and timeliness

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Anti-corruption in aid-funded procurement: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced?

David-Barrett E. and Fazekas, M. (2020). Anti-corruption in aid-funded procurement: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced? World Development. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105000

Given a widespread sense among donors that mainstream anti-corruption reforms over the past 25 years have failed to yield results, there is a move towards more targeted interventions. Such interventions should, in principle, overcome implementation gaps and make it easier to evaluate impact, supporting learning. However, when interventions are narrowly targeted, there is a risk that corrupt actors simply …

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Corruption risk in contracting markets: A network science perspective

Wachs,J., Fazekas, M., Kertész, J. (2020). Corruption risk in contracting markets: A network science perspective. International Journal of Data Science and Analytics. Available online.

We use methods from network science to analyze corruption risk in a large administrative dataset of over 4 million public procurement contracts from European Union member states covering the years 2008–2016. By mapping procurement markets as bipartite networks of issuers and winners of contracts, we can visualize and describe the distribution of corruption risk. We study …

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Lights on the shadows of public procurement: Transparency as an antidote to corruption

Bauhr, M., Czibik, Á., Fazekas, M., and de Fine Licht, J. (2019). Lights on the Shadows of Public Procurement. Transparency as an antidote to corruption. Governance, 33(3).

The increased focus on marketizing mechanisms and contracting‐out operations following the New Public Management reform agenda has sparked a debate on whether the close interactions between public and private actors might drive corruption in the public sector. The main response to those worries has been increased transparency, but so far empirical evidence of …

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The extent and cost of corruption in transport infrastructure: New evidence from Europe

Fazekas, M. & Tóth, B. (2018). The Extent and Cost of Corruption in Transport Infrastructure: New evidence from Europe. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice. Vol. 113, July 2018, pp. 35–54.

Transport infrastructure provision from roads to waterways involves large amounts of public funds in very
complex projects. 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 article provides a state-of-the-art review of …

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Grand corruption and government change: an analysis of partisan favoritism in public procurement

Dávid-Barrett, E. & Fazekas, M. (2019). Grand corruption and government change: an analysis of partisan favoritism in public procurement. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10610-019-09416-4

Incoming governments sometimes abuse their power to manipulate the allocation of government contracts so as to buy loyalty from cronies. While scandals suggest such practices are relatively widespread, the extent of such partisan favoritism is difficult to measure and the conditions under which it flourishes under-theorized. Drawing on theory regarding the role

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Social capital predicts corruption risk in towns

Wachs, J., Yasseri, T., Lengyel, B., Kertész, J. (2019). Social capital predicts corruption risk in towns. Royal Society Open Science 6: 182103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.182103

Corruption is a social plague: gains accrue to small groups, while its costs are borne by everyone. Significant variation in its level between and within countries suggests a relationship between social structure and the prevalence of corruption, yet, large-scale empirical studies thereof have been missing due to lack of data. In this paper, we relate the structural …

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