One Size Fits All? Decentralization, Corruption, and the Monitoring of Bureaucrats
AbstractSummary The majority of theoretical and empirical studies on the relationship between decentralization and corruption argue that the devolution of power might be a feasible instrument for use in keeping corruption at bay. We argue that this result crucially depends on the effectiveness of monitoring bureaucrats' behavior. The benefits of decentralization only occur if there is a supervisory body such as a free press, which is often lacking in a substantial number of countries. Using cross-country data, we analyze the relationship between decentralization and corruption, taking different degrees of the freedom of the press into account. Our main finding is that decentralization counteracts corruption in countries with high degrees of freedom of the press, whereas countries without effective monitoring suffer from decentralization. Our policy implication is that a free press is a necessary pre-condition for successful decentralization programs.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.
Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev
decentralization corruption monitoring freedom of press;
Other versions of this item:
- Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2008. "One size fits all? Decentralization, corruption, and the monitoring of bureaucrats," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/08, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
- Christian Lessmann & Gunther Markwardt, 2009. "One Size Fits All? Decentralization, Corruption, and the Monitoring of Bureaucrats," CESifo Working Paper Series 2662, CESifo Group Munich.
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
- H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
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