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Why does bureaucratic corruption occur in the EU?

Author

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  • Urs Brandt

    ()

  • Gert Svendsen

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Abstract

Why does bureaucratic corruption occur in the EU system? Several examples suggest that bureaucratic corruption exists and that the Commission’s anti-fraud agency, OLAF, is not a fully independent authority. We thus develop a novel interpretation of the principal-supervisor-agent model to cope with non-independent anti-fraud units. This model shows that corruption is likely to occur when the expected value to the client from bribing the agent is larger than the expected value to the principal of truth-telling by the supervisor. Overall, this analysis points to the risks of flawed incentives and the lack of institutional independence among principal, agent, supervisor and client. Our main policy recommendations as a result of these findings are that OLAF should be placed outside the Commission, and that whistleblowers should receive adequate protection. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Urs Brandt & Gert Svendsen, 2013. "Why does bureaucratic corruption occur in the EU?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 585-599, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:157:y:2013:i:3:p:585-599
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0095-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roland Vaubel & Axel Dreher & Uğurlu Soylu, 2007. "Staff growth in international organizations: A principal-agent problem? An empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 275-295, December.
    2. Baliga, Sandeep, 1999. "Monitoring and Collusion with "Soft" Information," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 434-440, July.
    3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    4. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs the Primacy of Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 65-100, February.
    5. Paldam, Martin, 2002. "The cross-country pattern of corruption: economics, culture and the seesaw dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 215-240, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jincot:v:17:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10842-016-0230-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Esteban Alemán Correa & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya Agudelo, 2016. "Corruption: Transcending Borders," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 183-207, May.
    3. You, Jing & Nie, Huihua, 2017. "Who determines Chinese firms' engagement in corruption: Themselves or neighbors?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-46.
    4. Sounman Hong & Jeehun Lim, 2016. "Capture and the bureaucratic mafia: does the revolving door erode bureaucratic integrity?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 69-86, January.

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