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Corruption and Product Market Competition

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Abstract

It is generally considered that more competition might help curb corruption, as rents, which motivate corrupt agreements, are decreasing in the degree of competition. This paper proposes a framework to analyze the relationship between corruption and competition. It studies the optimal incentive scheme for potentially corrupt officials in charge of inspecting firms that compete in the product market. Given that bribe-taking is sometimes tolerated in equilibrium, for specific values of the externality that motivated regulatory intervention, nonmonotonic effects arise and more competition may lead to an increase in corruption. Moreover, it is shown that in this context competition is always welfare improving, even though it might lead to more corruption.

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  • Stephane Straub, 2005. "Corruption and Product Market Competition," ESE Discussion Papers 131, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:131
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ed.ac.uk/papers/id131_esedps.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
    2. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1089-1127.
    3. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-159, January.
    4. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
    5. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 632-652, November.
    6. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    7. Bliss, Christopher & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "Does Competition Kill Corruption?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1001-1023, October.
    8. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-1042, July.
    9. Thierry Verdier & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 194-211, March.
    10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 1999. "Competition and corruption in an agency relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 271-295, December.
    11. Besley, Timothy & McLaren, John, 1993. "Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 119-141, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dutta, Indranil & Mishra, Ajit, 2005. "Inequality, Corruption, and Competition in the Presence of Market Imperfections," WIDER Working Paper Series 046, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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