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Choosing agents and monitoring consumption: a note on wealth as a corruption-controlling device

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  • RafaelDi Tella
  • Federico Weinschelbaum

Abstract

There are a large number of cases where corruption has been discovered when investigating levels of consumption that appear to be hard to justify. The informativeness of an agent's level of consumption depends on his legal income and initial level of wealth, as conspicuous consumption by wealthy agents leads to little updating of the principal's belief about their honesty. This introduces a tendency to prefer poor agents as they are easier to monitor. More generally, we describe the basic problem of choosing agents and monitoring consumption with the aim of reducing corruption, and discuss features of the practical applications. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • RafaelDi Tella & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2008. "Choosing agents and monitoring consumption: a note on wealth as a corruption-controlling device," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1552-1571, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:532:p:1552-1571
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
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    9. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1975. "The economics of corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 187-203, February.
    10. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 307-331, August.
    11. Rasmusen, Eric, 1992. "An Income-Satiation Model of Efficiency Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 467-478, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna, 2012. "Corruption," Introductory Chapters,in: Sendhil Mullainathan & Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
      • Hanna, Rema N. & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2012. "Corruption," Scholarly Articles 8830779, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
      • Abhijit Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan & Rema Hanna, 2012. "Corruption," NBER Working Papers 17968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2012. "Corruption," Working Papers id:4952, eSocialSciences.
      • Banerjee, Abhijit & Hanna, Rema & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2012. "Corruption," Working Paper Series rwp12-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. repec:hrv:faseco:33077931 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Disclosure by Politicians," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 179-209, April.
    4. Rodrigues-Neto, José A., 2014. "On corruption, bribes and the exchange of favors," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 152-162.
    5. Simona Fabrizi & Steffen Lippert, 2012. "Corruption and the Public Display of Wealth," Working Papers 1202, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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