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Anti-corruption agencies: Rhetoric Versus reality


  • Patrick Meagher


The anti-corruption successes of Singapore and Hong Kong have encouraged the establishment of strong, centralized anti-corruption agencies across the globe. This study charts the emergence of anti-corruption agencies (ACAs), and then examines recent experiences with these bodies in developing countries. We propose a set of criteria for assessing and explaining their performance. The analysis applies within strict limits to those countries that have established the minimum political, legal, and socio-economic conditions for effective governance. Where these conditions are in place, success is possible. However, ACAs in poor and badly governed states are generally ineffective, if not actively harmful.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Meagher, 2005. "Anti-corruption agencies: Rhetoric Versus reality," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 69-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:8:y:2005:i:1:p:69-103
    DOI: 10.1080/1384128042000328950

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Susan Rose-Ackerman & Tina Søreide (ed.), 2011. "International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14003, April.
    3. Martin Painter, 2014. "Myths of Political Independence, or How Not to Solve the Corruption Problem: Lessons for Vietnam," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 273-286, May.
    4. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i::p:o160-o177 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:crpeac:v:28:y:2015:i:c:p:49-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lindsey Carson & Mariana Mota Prado, 2014. "Mapping Corruption and its Institutional Determinants in Brazil," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series iriba_wp08, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    7. Noore Siddiquee, 2010. "Combating Corruption and Managing Integrity in Malaysia: A Critical Overview of Recent Strategies and Initiatives," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 153-171, June.
    8. Iquiapaza, Robert & Amaral, Hudson, 2007. "Reflexões do Impacto da Corrupção no Desenvolvimento Econômico: Uma Revisão na Economia Brasileira
      [Reflections on the Impact of Corruption on Economic Development: a literature review in the Brazi
      ," MPRA Paper 1818, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Francesca Recanatini, 2011. "Anti-Corruption Authorities: An Effective Tool to Curb Corruption?," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 19 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Anti corruption agency; Corruption; Investigation and prosecution; JEL Codes: K42; L31;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship


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