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Social Accountability: Persuasion and Debate to Contain Corruption

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  • Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

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    Abstract

    In this paper we investigate the properties of simple rules for reappointment aimed at holding a public official accountable and monitor his activity. The public official allocates budget resources to various activities which results in the delivery of public services to citizens. He has discretion over the use of resource so he can divert some of them for private ends. Because of a liability constraint, zero diversion can never be secured in all states. The optimal reappointment mechanism under complete information is shown to exhibit some leniency thus departing from the zero tolerance principle. Under asymmetric information (about the state), a rule with random verification in a pre-announced subset is shown to be optimal in a class of common rules. Surprisingly, those common rules make little use of hard information about service delivery when available. Similarly, PO's claim about his record is of no value to improve the performance of the examined rules. In contrast requesting that the PO defends his records publicly can be very useful if the service users are given the chance to refute false claims with cheap talk complaints: the first best complete information outcome can be approached in the absence of any observation by the manager of the accountability mechanism.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00922092.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00922092

    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00922092
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    Related research

    Keywords: Accountability ; Verification ; Persuasion ; Monitoring ; Corruption;

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    1. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
    2. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Evidence Disclosure and Verifiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, UC San Diego qt6th0060j, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    3. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
    4. Jacob Glazer & Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "On Optimal Rules of Persuasion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1715-1736, November.
    5. Sher, Itai, 2011. "Credibility and determinism in a game of persuasion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 409-419, March.
    6. Fox, Jonathan A, 2007. "The uncertain relationship between transparency and accountability," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz qt8c25c3z4, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
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