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Why Are Some Public Officials More Corrupt Than Others?

  • Hunt, Jennifer

Using detailed Peruvian data measuring bribery, I assess which types of public official are most corrupt and why. I distinguish between the bribery rate and the size of bribes received, and seek to explain the variation in each across public institutions. The characteristics of officials' clients explain most of the variation for bribery rates, but none for bribe amounts. A measure of the speed of honest service at the institution explains much of the remaining variation for both bribery rates and amounts. The results indicate that the bribery rate is higher at institutions with bribe-prone clients, and that bribery rates and bribe amounts are higher where clients are frustrated at slow service. Faster and better service would reduce corruption. Overall, the judiciary and the police are by far the most corrupt institutions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5252.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5252
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  1. Jennifer Hunt & Sonia Laszlo, 2006. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What Are The Payoffs?," Departmental Working Papers 2006-06, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  2. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2000. "Interindustry and Interregion Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 516-521, August.
  3. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
  4. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  5. Naci Mocan, 2004. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 10460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Borjas, George J. & Sueyoshi, Glenn T., 1994. "A two-stage estimator for probit models with structural group effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 165-182.
  7. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  8. Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes And How Much? Evidence From A Cross Section Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230, February.
  9. John McMillan & Pablo Zoido, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," CESifo Working Paper Series 1173, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, 2006. "A Quantitative Exploration Of The Golden Age Of European Growth: Structural Change, Public Investment, The Marshall Plan And Intra-European Trade," Departmental Working Papers 2005-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  11. Hunt, Jennifer, 2004. "Trust and Bribery: The Role of the Quid Pro Quo and the Link with Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 1179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-42, July.
  13. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2000. "Decentralization and corruption - evidence across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2290, The World Bank.
  14. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
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