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Infrastructure privatization and changes in corruption patterns: The roots of public discontent

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  • Martimort, David
  • Straub, Stéphane

Abstract

This paper offers a theory of how the degree of corruption that prevails in a society responds to changes in the ownership structure of major public service providers. We show that there are cases in which privatization, even though it fosters investments in infrastructure, also opens the door to more corruption. The public dissatisfaction towards privatization is then crucially affected by the changes in the degree and pattern of corruption. Our model thus helps understand the seemingly paradoxical situation prevailing in Latin America, where most studies find that privatizations have been efficiency-enhancing and have fostered investments and, at the same time, popular dissatisfaction with the process is extremely high, especially among the middle class. We show that this line of explanation is consistent with the evidence from surveys in the region.

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  • Martimort, David & Straub, Stéphane, 2009. "Infrastructure privatization and changes in corruption patterns: The roots of public discontent," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 69-84, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:90:y:2009:i:1:p:69-84
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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Sanford V. & Jiang, Liangliang & Lin, Chen, 2012. "Regulation and corporate corruption: New evidence from the telecom sector," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 22-43.
    2. Liam Wren-Lewis, 2015. "Do Infrastructure Reforms Reduce the Effect of Corruption? Theory and Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 353-384.
    3. Tomáš Otáhal, 2014. "Mises, Hayek and Corruption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(3), pages 399-404, February.
    4. Fabre, Anaïs & Straub, Stéphane, 2019. "The Economic Impact of public private partnerships (PPPs) in Infrastructure, Health and Education: A Review," TSE Working Papers 19-986, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. Straub, Stéphane & Fay, Marianne & Martimort, David, 2018. "Funding and financing infrastructure: the joint-use of public and private finance," IAST Working Papers 18-98, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    6. Stéphane Straub, 2009. "Regulatory Intervention, Corruption and Competition," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 35(1), pages 123-148, September.
    7. Tan, Jeff, 2012. "The Pitfalls of Water Privatization: Failure and Reform in Malaysia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2552-2563.
    8. Straub, Stephane, 2008. "Infrastructure and growth in developing countries : recent advances and research challenges," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4460, The World Bank.
    9. Antonio Estache & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2009. "Toward a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Jean-Jacques Laffont's Lead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 729-770, September.
    10. Emmanuelle Auriol & Stéphane Straub, 2011. "Privatization of Rent-Generating Industries and Corruption," Chapters, in: Susan Rose-Ackerman & Tina Søreide (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 7, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Boggio, Margherita, 2011. "From Reluctant Privatization to Municipal Capitalism: an Overview on Ownership, Political Connections and Decentralization," MPRA Paper 46232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Francesc Trillas & Miguel A. Montoya, 2011. "The Liberalization of Infrastructures in Latin America," Chapters, in: Matthias Finger & Rolf W. Künneke (ed.), International Handbook of Network Industries, chapter 22, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Kaminski, Jonathan, 2011. "Subjective Wealth, Policy Change, and Political Opinions: Evidence from the Cotton Reform in Burkina Faso," Discussion Papers 119531, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    14. Antonio Estache & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2010. "What Anti-Corruption Policy Can Learn from Theories of Sector Regulation," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-033, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    15. Elisa BORGHI & Chiara DEL BO & Massimo FLORIO, 2010. "Ownership, institutions and productivity of European electricity firms," Departmental Working Papers 2010-19, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    16. Jensen, Olivia & Wu, Xun, 2017. "The hybrid model for economic regulation of water utilities: Mission impossible?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 122-131.
    17. Antonio Estache & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2011. "Anti-Corruption Policy in Theories of Sector Regulation," Chapters, in: Susan Rose-Ackerman & Tina Søreide (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 9, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Maria Vagliasindi, 2011. "Public versus Private Governance and Performance: Evidence from Public Utility Service Provision," Chapters, in: Susan Rose-Ackerman & Tina Søreide (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 6, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Gasmi, F. & Maingard, A. & Noumba, P. & Recuero Virto, L., 2013. "The Privatization of the Fixed-Line Telecommunications Operator in OECD, Latin America, Asia, and Africa: One Size Does Not Fit All," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 189-208.
    20. Izak Atiyas, 2012. "Enhancing Competition in A Post-Revolutionary Arab Context: Does the Turkish Experience Provide any Lessons?," Working Papers 743, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2012.
    21. Bertoméu-Sánchez, Salvador & Camos, Daniel & Estache, Antonio, 2018. "Do economic regulatory agencies matter to private-sector involvement in water utilities in developing countries?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 153-163.
    22. Dong, Quan & Bárcena-Ruiz, Juan Carlos, 2014. "Corruption and decisions on opening up markets," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 23-29.

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