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Corruption, Accountability and Efficiency. An Application to Municipal Solid Waste Services


  • Graziano Abrate
  • Federico Boffa
  • Fabrizio Erbetta
  • Davide Vannoni


This paper explores the link between accountability, corruption and efficiency in the context of a career concern model where politically con- nected local monopolies are in charge of the provision of a local public service. We fi?nd that both corruption and a low degree of accountabil- ity induce managers to reduce effort levels, thereby contributing to drive down efficiency. Our predictions are tested using data on solid waste management services provided by a large sample of Italian municipalities. The results of the estimation of a stochastic cost frontier model provide robust evidence that high corruption levels and low degrees of account- ability substantially increase cost inefficiency. Finally, we show that the negative impact of corruption is weaker for municipalities ruled by left- wing parties, while the positive impact of accountability is stronger if the refuse collection service is managed by limited liability companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Graziano Abrate & Federico Boffa & Fabrizio Erbetta & Davide Vannoni, 2013. "Corruption, Accountability and Efficiency. An Application to Municipal Solid Waste Services," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 316, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:316

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alessio D'Amato & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2011. "Waste Sustainability, Environmental Management and Mafia: Analysing Geographical and Economic Dimensions," CEIS Research Paper 213, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 24 Oct 2011.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anselm Komla Abotsi, 2016. "Power Outages and Production Efficiency of Firms in Africa," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 98-104.
    2. Massimo Finocchiaro Castro & Calogero Guccio & Ilde Rizzo, 2014. "An assessment of the waste effects of corruption on infrastructure provision," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 813-843, August.
    3. Anselm Komla Abots, 2015. "Foreign Ownership of Firms and Corruption in Africa," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 5(3), pages 647-655.

    More about this item


    corruption; accountability efficiency; solid waste;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling


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