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Privatization and Changes in Corruption Patterns: The Roots of Public Discontent

This paper offers a theory of how the degree of corruption that prevails in a society responds to changes in the ownership structure of major public service providers. We show that there are cases in which privatization, even though it fosters investments in infrastructure, also opens the door to more corruption. The public dissatisfaction towards privatization is then crucially affected by the changes in the degree and pattern of corruption. Our model thus helps understand the seemingly paradoxical situation prevailing in Latin America, where most studies find that privatizations have been efficiency-enhancing and have fostered investments and, at the same time, popular dissatisfaction with the process is extremely high, especially among the middle class. We show that this line of explanation is supported by evidence from surveys in the region.

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Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 147.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:147
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  1. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Martimort, David, 2003. " Regulatory Inertia," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 413-37, Autumn.
  2. repec:reg:rpubli:398 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Faure-Grimaud Antoine & Laffont Jean-Jacques & Martimort David, 2003. "Risk Averse Supervisors and the Efficiency of Collusion," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  4. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
  5. Estache, Antonio, 2004. "Emerging infrastructure policy issues in developing countries - a survey of the recent economic literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3442, The World Bank.
  6. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2003. "Privatizing Highways in Latin America: Fixing What Went Wrong," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  7. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Picard, Pierre, 2004. "Privatizations in Developing Countries and the Government's Budget Constraint," IDEI Working Papers 459, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
  9. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1992. "The New Economics of Regulation Ten Years After," IDEI Working Papers 22, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. Karla Hoff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2005. "The Creation of the Rule of Law and the Legitimacy of Property Rights: The Political and Economic Consequences of a Corrupt Privatization," NBER Working Papers 11772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  12. Ilya R. Segal, 1998. "Monopoly and Soft Budget Constraint," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 596-609, Autumn.
  13. Alberto E. Chong & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 2004. "Privatization in Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6682, Inter-American Development Bank.
  14. János Kornai, 2014. "The soft budget constraint," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 64(supplemen), pages 25-79, November.
  15. Auriol, E., 1998. "Corruption in Procurement and Public Purchase," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a29, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  16. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-De-Silanes, 1999. "The Benefits Of Privatization: Evidence From Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1193-1242, November.
  18. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  19. Bennedsen, Morten, 2000. "Political ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 559-581, June.
  20. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  21. Clarke, George R. G. & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2004. "Privatization, competition, and corruption: how characteristics of bribe takers and payers affect bribes to utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2067-2097, August.
  22. Albert Chong & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 2004. "Privatization in Latin America: What Does the Evidence Say?," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  23. Schmidt, Klaus M, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Privatization: An Incomplete Contracts Approach," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-24, April.
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