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Why Are Some Public Officials More Corrupt Than Others?

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  • Jennifer Hunt

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Abstract

Using detailed Peruvian data measuring bribery, I assess which types of public official are most corrupt and why. I distinguish between the bribery rate and the size of bribes received, and seek to explain the variation in each across public institutions. The characteristics of officials’ clients explain most of the variation for bribery rates, but none for bribe amounts. A measure of the speed of honest service at the institution explains much of the remaining variation for both bribery rates and amounts. The results indicate that the bribery rate is higher at institutions with bribe-prone clients, and that bribery rates and bribe amounts are higher where clients are frustrated at slow service. Faster and better service would reduce corruption. Overall, the judiciary and the police are by far the most corrupt institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number wp790.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2005-790

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Keywords: Corruption; bribery; institutions; governance.;

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References

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  1. Hunt, Jennifer, 2004. "Trust and Bribery: The Role of the Quid Pro Quo and the Link with Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 1179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  3. Naci Mocan, 2004. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 10460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. George J. Borjas & Glenn T. Sueyoshi, 1993. "A Two-Stage Estimator for Probit Models with Structural Group Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-42, July.
  6. Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Seminar Papers 713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. McMillan, John & Zoido, Paolo, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," CEPR Discussion Papers 4361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Hunt, Jennifer & Laszlo, Sonia, 2005. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What are the Payoffs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5251, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  10. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
  11. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, 2006. "A Quantitative Exploration Of The Golden Age Of European Growth: Structural Change, Public Investment, The Marshall Plan And Intra-European Trade," Departmental Working Papers 2005-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  12. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, . "Inter-Industry and Inter-Region Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," Working Papers 9504, SELAPO Center for Human Resources.
  13. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
  14. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2006. "Public Sector Pay and Corruption: Measuring Bribery from Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1987, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jennifer Hunt & Sonia Laszlo, 2005. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What Are the Payoffs?," NBER Working Papers 11635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, . "A Quantitative Exploration of the Golden Age of European Growth: Structural Change, Public Investment, the Marshall Plan and Intra-European Trade," Working Papers UWEC-2004-15, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Kaufmann, Daniel & Montoriol-Garriga, Judit & Recanatini, Francesca, 2008. "How does bribery affect public service delivery ? micro-evidence from service users and public officials in Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4492, The World Bank.

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