Leading bureaucracies to the tipping point: An alternative model of multiple stable equilibrium levels of corruption
We present a novel model of corruption dynamics in the form of a nonlinear optimal dynamic control problem. It has a tipping point, but one whose origins and character are distinct from that in the classic Schelling (1978) model. The decision maker choosing a level of corruption is the chief or some other kind of authority figure who presides over a bureaucracy whose state of corruption is influenced by the authority figure’s actions, and whose state in turn influences the pay-off for the authority figure. The policy interpretation is somewhat more optimistic than in other tipping models, and there are some surprising implications, notably that reforming the bureaucracy may be of limited value if the bureaucracy takes its cues from a corrupt leader.
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