IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Political decentralization and corruption: Evidence from around the world

  • Fan, C. Simon
  • Lin, Chen
  • Treisman, Daniel

How does political decentralization affect the frequency and costliness of bribe extraction by corrupt officials? Previous empirical studies, using subjective indexes of perceived corruption and mostly fiscal indicators of decentralization, have suggested conflicting conclusions. In search of more precise findings, we combine and explore two new data sources--an original cross-national data set on particular types of decentralization and the results of a firm level survey conducted in 80 countries about firms' concrete experiences with bribery. In countries with a larger number of government or administrative tiers and (given local revenues) a larger number of local public employees, reported bribery was more frequent. When local--or central--governments received a larger share of GDP in revenue, bribery was less frequent. Overall, the results suggest the danger of uncoordinated rent-seeking as government structures become more complex.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V76-4TFW976-1/2/42adc0b4ecd6d0fd9a89d690c7defb73
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
Pages: 14-34

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:1-2:p:14-34
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  2. Benjamin Olken, 2005. "Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia," Natural Field Experiments 00317, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
  4. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  5. Salmon, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
  6. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ruben Enikolopov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2006. "Decentralization and Political Institutions," Working Papers w0065, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  8. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2004. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," NBER Working Papers 10438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Schiavo-Campo, Salvatore & de Tommaso, Giulio & Mukherjee, Amitabha, 1997. "An international statistical survey of government employment and wages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1806, The World Bank.
  10. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2006. "Bank supervision and corruption in lending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2131-2163, November.
  11. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, 09.
  12. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2000. "Decentralization and corruption - evidence across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2290, The World Bank.
  13. Zhuravskaya Ekatherina, 2000. "Incentives to Provide Local Public Goods: Fiscal Federalism, Russian Style," EERC Working Paper Series 99-15e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
  14. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Courts: The Lex Mundi Project," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1951, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Cai, Hongbin & Treisman, Daniel, 2004. "State corroding federalism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 819-843, March.
  16. Huther, Jeff & Shah, Anwar, 1998. "Applying a simple measure of good governance to the debate on fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1894, The World Bank.
  17. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Barron, Patrick & Olken, Benjamin, 2007. "The Simple Economics of Extortion: Evidence from Trucking in Aceh," CEPR Discussion Papers 6332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  20. Myerson, Roger B., 2006. "Federalism and Incentives for Success of Democracy," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 3-23, January.
  21. Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Seminar Papers 713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  22. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125431 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Daniel Treisman, 2006. "Fiscal Decentralization, Governance, And Economic Performance: A Reconsideration," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 219-235, 07.
  24. Hehui Jin & Yingyi Qian & Barry Weingast, 1999. "Regional Decentralization and Fiscal Incentives: Federalism, Chinese Style," Working Papers 99013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  25. Joseph J. Spengler, 1950. "Vertical Integration and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 347.
  26. Prud'homme, Remy, 1995. "The Dangers of Decentralization," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 201-20, August.
  27. Hongbin Cai & Daniel Treisman, 2005. "Does Competition for Capital Discipline Governments? Decentralization, Globalization, and Public Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 817-830, June.
  28. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Using Micro-Surveys to Measure and Explain Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 359-370, February.
  29. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
  30. International Monetary Fund, 2001. "Fiscal Decentralization and Governance; A Cross-Country Analysis," IMF Working Papers 01/71, International Monetary Fund.
  31. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  32. Joel S. Hellman & Geraint Jones & Daniel Kaufmann & Mark Schankerman, 2000. "Measuring governance and state capture: the role of bureaucrats and firms in shaping the business environment," Working Papers 51, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  33. G. Gulsun Arikan, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization: A Remedy for Corruption?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 175-195, 03.
  34. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
  35. J. Vernon Henderson, 2000. "The Effects of Urban Concentration on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 7503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Berkowitz, Daniel & Li, Wei, 2000. "Tax rights in transition economies: a tragedy of the commons?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 369-397, June.
  37. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:1-2:p:14-34. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.