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Quality of Bureaucracy and Open-Economy Macro Policies

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  • Chong-En Bai
  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

Bureaucratic quality in terms of the level of corruption varies widely across countries, and is in general slow to evolve relative to the speed with which many economic policies can be implemented such as the imposition of capital controls. In this paper, we study the possibility that quality of bureaucracy may be an important structural determinant of open-economy macro-policies, in particular, the imposition/removal of capital controls and financial repression. We first derive a model that delivers such a result. Bureaucratic corruption translates into reduced ability by the government to collect tax revenue. Even if capital control/financial repression is otherwise inefficient, as long as the government needs the revenue for public goods provision, it would have to rely more on capital control/financial repression. For all countries for which we can obtain relevant data, we find that more corrupt countries are indeed more likely to impose capital controls, a pattern consistent with the model’s prediction. The result of this paper suggests that a premature removal of capital controls mandated by outside institutions could reduce rather than enhance economic efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Chong-En Bai & Shang-Jin Wei, 2001. "Quality of Bureaucracy and Open-Economy Macro Policies," CID Working Papers 59A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cid:wpfacu:59a
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sarah Mansour & Vjollca Sadiraj & Sally Wallace, 2014. "Political Institutions and Corruption:An Experimental Examination of the "Right to Recall"," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2014-05, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Huang, Haizhou & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "Monetary policies for developing countries: The role of institutional quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 239-252, September.
    3. Daniel Lederman & Norman V. Loayza & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Accountability And Corruption: Political Institutions Matter," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 1-35, March.
    4. Rosen Valchev, 2020. "Bond Convenience Yields and Exchange Rate Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 124-166, April.
    5. Haizhou Huang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "Monetary Policies for Developing Countries: The Role of Corruption," NBER Working Papers 10093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mansour, Sarah & Wallace, Sally & Sadiraj, Vjollca & Hassan, Mazen, 2021. "How do electoral and voice accountability affect corruption? Experimental evidence from Egypt," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    7. Nicolas Gavoille & Katharina Hofer, 2021. "Capital Controls and Electoral Cycles," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 69(2), pages 275-324, June.
    8. Leonardo Baggiani & Enrico Colombatto, 2017. "Feasible taxation in advanced democracies," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 64(3), pages 213-229, September.
    9. Meixing Dai & Moïse Sidiropoulos & Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2015. "Fiscal Policy, Institutional Quality and Central Bank Transparency," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83(5), pages 523-545, September.
    10. Rosen Valchev, 2015. "Exchange Rates and UIP Violations at Short and Long Horizons," 2015 Meeting Papers 1446, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Malgorzata Sulimierska, 2008. "Capital Account Liberalization and Currency Crisis - The Case of Central Eastern European Countries," International Trade and Finance Association Conference Papers 1140, International Trade and Finance Association.
    12. Petris Sorina, 2012. "Controls On Capital Movements," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 577-581, December.
    13. Axel Dreher & Thomas Herzfeld, 2005. "The Economic Costs of Corruption: A Survey and New Evidence," Public Economics 0506001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Becerra, O. & Cavallo, E. & Scartascini, C., 2012. "The politics of financial development: The role of interest groups and government capabilities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 626-643.
    15. Stephen Everhart & Jorge Martinez- Vazquez & Robert McNab, 2009. "Corruption, governance, investment and growth in emerging markets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(13), pages 1579-1594.
    16. Sulimierska, Malgorzata, 2016. "The impact of capital account liberalisation on productivity growth: the evidence from Poland since 1995," Economics PhD Theses 1216, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    17. Guerrero, Manuel Alejandro & Rodriguez-Oreggia, Eduardo, 2008. "On the individual decisions to commit corruption: A methodological complement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 357-372, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bureaucracy; financial repression; capital controls;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

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