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Committing to transparency to resist corruption

  • Koessler, Frédéric
  • Lambert-Mogiliansky, Ariane

This paper studies firms' incentives to commit to transparent behavior in a competitive procedure modeled as an asymmetric information beauty contest managed by a corrupt agent. In his evaluation of firms' offers for a public contract the agent has some discretion to favor a firm in exchange for a bribe. While unilateral commitment to transparency is never incentive compatible, under some circumstances a voluntary but conditional commitment mechanism can eliminate corruption. A low quality firm may prefer not to commit only when the agent's discretion is strong and the market's profitability is small. In that situation, the high quality firms commit when commitment decisions are kept secret, but some conditions on firms' beliefs are required when commitment decisions are publicly announced. A mechanism combining both conditionality and a reward (a transparent selection advantage that needs not be large) allows complete elimination of corruption.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 100 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 117-126

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:100:y:2013:i:1:p:117-126
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. Guillaume Haeringer & Sophie Bade & Ludovic Renou, 2006. "Bilateral Commitment," Working Papers 2006.75, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Leo K. Simon and William R. Zame., 1987. "Discontinuous Games and Endogenous Sharing Rules," Economics Working Papers 8756, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  4. Celik, Gorkem & Peters, Michael, 2011. "Reciprocal Relationships and Mechanism Design," Microeconomics.ca working papers gorkem_celik-2011-19, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 01 Aug 2011.
  5. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521659123 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Peters, Michael & Troncoso-Valverde, Cristián, 2013. "A folk theorem for competing mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 953-973.
  8. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky & Grigory Kosenok, 2009. "Fine-Tailored for the Cartel-Favoritism in Procurement," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 95-121, September.
  9. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar, 2005. "White elephants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 197-210, February.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521632935 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Renou, Ludovic, 2009. "Commitment games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 488-505, May.
  12. Kalai, Adam Tauman & Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud & Samet, Dov, 2010. "A commitment folk theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 127-137, May.
  13. Roberto Burguet & Yeon-Koo Che, 2004. "Competitive Procurement with Corruption," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 50-68, Spring.
  14. Andersson, Per & Hultén, Staffan & Valiente, Pablo, 2005. "Beauty contest licensing lessons from the 3G process in Sweden," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 577-593, September.
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