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The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption

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  • Thierry Verdier
  • Daron Acemoglu

Abstract

Because government intervention transfers resources from one party to another, it creates room for corruption. As corruption often undermines the purpose of the intervention, governments will try to prevent it. They may create rents for bureaucrats, induce a misallocation of resources, and increase the size of the bureaucracy. Since preventing all corruption is excessively costly, second-best intervention may involve a certain fraction of bureaucrats accepting bribes. When corruption is harder to prevent, there may be both more bureaucrats and higher public-sector wages. Also, the optimal degree of government intervention may be nonmonotonic in the level of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Verdier & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 194-211, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:1:p:194-211
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.1.194
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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