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Corruption, food subsidies, and opacity: Evidence from the Philippines

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  • Mehta, Aashish
  • Jha, Shikha

Abstract

We argue that subsidized food distribution systems that fail to publicize how much food has been allocated to each local market will experience high rates of theft on the margin as they are expanded. We provide the first comparable cross-section of estimates of subsidized food theft. As predicted, in regions of the Philippines that were allocated more subsidized rice to distribute, a larger percentage of the rice went missing.

Suggested Citation

  • Mehta, Aashish & Jha, Shikha, 2012. "Corruption, food subsidies, and opacity: Evidence from the Philippines," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 708-711.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:3:p:708-711 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.07.023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jha, Skikha & Ramaswami, Bharat, 2012. "The Percolation of Public Expenditure: Food Subsidies and the Poor in India and the Philippines," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 8(1), pages 95-138.
    2. Olken, Benjamin A., 2006. "Corruption and the costs of redistribution: Micro evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 853-870, May.
    3. Timmer, C. Peter, 2010. "Reflections on food crises past," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-11, February.
    4. Reetika Khera, 2011. "Trends In Diversion Of Pds Grain," Working papers 198, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehta, Aashish & Jha, Shikha & Quising, Pilipinas, 2013. "Self-targeted food subsidies and voice: Evidence from the Philippines," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 204-217.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pilferage; Transfer program; Food subsidy; Transparency; Opacity;

    JEL classification:

    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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