Elections and Corruption: Incentives to Steal or Incentives to Invest?

Fazekas, M., Hellmann, O. (2023) Elections and Corruption: Incentives to Steal or Incentives to Invest?. Studies in Comparative International Development. 

By now, most political systems around the world hold regular multiparty elections of different quality and type. However, we know relatively little about the effect of elections on corruption, especially in high-discretion, public procurement contracts implementing development aid. To address this gap in the literature, we employ unmatched comparisons and matching estimators to analyze a global government contracting dataset that …

Read More

Government Analytics Using Procurement Data

Cocciolo, S., Samaddar, S. and Fazekas, M. 2023. Government Analytics Using Procurement Data. in Rogger, D. and Schuster, C. (editors) 2023. The Government Analytics Handbook: Leveraging Data to Strengthen Public Administration. Washington, DC: World Bank, Chapter 12.


The digitalization of national public procurement systems across the world has opened enormous opportunities to measure and analyze procurement data. The use of data analytics on public procurement data allows governments to strategically monitor procurement markets and trends, to improve the procurement …

Read More

Firm performance, imperfect competition, and corruption risks in procurement: evidence from Swedish municipalities

Wittberg, E. and Fazekas, M. (2023). Firm performance, imperfect competition, and corruption risks in procurement: evidence from Swedish municipalities. Public Choice 197, 227–251.


Previous research has shown that corruption risks may distort market incentives in high-risk contexts. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the potential impact of corruption in settings characterized by low corruption and high-quality institutions. Against that background, this paper delves deeper into the alleged consequences of corruption by examining the link between corruption risks

Read More

Pharmaceutical prices and corruption risks dashboard

In 2022, the Government Transparency Institute and the Transparency International launched an interactive dashboard to shed light on the interplay between corruption risk and pharmaceutical prices. The comprehensive dataset, which encompasses detailed procurement contract information for pharmaceuticals across nine countries, allows for robust comparisons and trend analysis. The dashboard utilizes the Corruption Risk Index (CRI), a composite measure of corruption risk indicators, and unit prices of standardized pharmaceutical products (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Code of the WHO). The platform empowers stakeholders …

Read More

Efficiency gains from anti-corruption in pharmaceuticals procurement: Analysis of 9 countries across 3 continents

Veljanov, Z. and Fazekas, M. (2023). Efficiency gains from anti-corruption in pharmaceuticals procurement: Analysis of 9 countries across 3 continents. GTI-WP/2023:04, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

Public procurement of pharmaceutical products represents a large share of countries’ health care spending. The crucial importance of pharmaceutical products has been further exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inefficiencies and corruption risks in public spending on the procurement of pharmaceuticals increase medical costs and place a heavy burden on national budgets and patients.
To support …

Read More

Linked Beneficial Ownership data? Challenges and opportunities

Fazekas, M., Poltoratskaia, V., Vianello, M. and Trautvetter, C. (2023).  Linked Beneficial Ownership Data? Challenges and Opportunities. Network of Experts on Beneficial Ownership Transparency – NEBOT Policy Paper 6.  Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg

One of the most widely-accepted policy goals of beneficial ownership registers is to help tackle money laundering and financial crime. In order to further this goal, this paper first identifies types of data needed to track dark money and assesses how these can be …

Read More

Enhancing law enforcement efficiency by bringing together public procurement data analytics and civil monitors – “iMonitor” project has started

(Project: 101103267 — Call: ISF-2022-TF1-AG-CORRUPT)

Due to the lack of monitoring capacity, law enforcement is typically able to investigate a small portion of likely corrupt cases. To remove obstacles to corruption detection and investigation we set out to combine Big Data analytics with extensive civil monitoring of ongoing contracts in Catalonia (Spain), Italy, Lithuania, and Romania. We build on our prior EU-funded projects making public procurement data and corruption risk indicators available (opentender.eu) and a citizen reporting

Read More

Corruption risks in public procurement through the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe

Fazekas, M., Hernandez Sanchez, A., Abdou, A. and Kofrán, D. (2023). Corruption risks in public procurement through the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. GTI-WP/2023:03, Budapest: Government Transparency Institute.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major emergency globally, requiring rapid responses to protect citizens’ health and lives. In order to inform future emergency policies, this paper sets out to track the corruption risk impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the policies implemented to tackle the pandemic.
We adopt a mixed-methods approach, …

Read More

Corruption Risks and State Capture in Bulgarian Public Procurement

Fazekas, M.; Poltoratskaia, V.; Tóth, B. (2023). Corruption Risks and State Capture in Bulgarian Public Procurement (English). Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 10444 Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.

This paper sets out to measure and analyze corruption risks, patterns of favoritism, and state capture in public procurement in Bulgaria. It draws on two main types of data: large-scale administrative data on public procurement and the list of politically exposed persons. The analysis rests on calculating individual corruption risk …

Read More

Corruption risk assessments: country case studies highlight advantages and challenges of diverse approaches

Poltoratskaia, V., Fazekas, M. (2023). Corruption risk assessments: country case studies highlight advantages and challenges of diverse approaches. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2023:2).

Our research on corruption risk assessments (CRAs) identifies three main approaches: centralised, decentralised, and transparency-oriented methodologies. Case studies from the Netherlands, Lithuania, Mexico, and Italy highlight the role of resource and institutional constraints in the choice of approach, and the importance of ensuring high-quality, complete, and accessible data. To ensure the …

Read More