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Collusion and Renegotiation in Hierarchies: A Case of Beneficial Corruption


  • Olsen, T.E.
  • Torsvik, G.


Corruption opportunities arise when a principal delegates enforcement or audit authority to a supervisor. The supervisor may then strike a deal with the agent she is supposed to monitor and conceal important information from the principal. Corruption imposes a constraint on governance and appears therefore to be harmful for the principal. We show that this need not be the case. In our model, the prospect of corruption can make the principal better off. The reason is that the collusion possibility generates dynamic effects which, in cases where only limited intertemporal commitments can be made, may be beneficial for the principal.

Suggested Citation

  • Olsen, T.E. & Torsvik, G., 1998. "Collusion and Renegotiation in Hierarchies: A Case of Beneficial Corruption," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 179, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:bereco:179

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thorlund-Petersen, Lars, 1990. "Iterative computation of cournot equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 61-75, March.
    2. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    3. Gjerstad, Steven, 1996. "The Rate of Convergence of Continuous Fictitious Play," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(1), pages 161-177, January.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945, January.
    5. Smale, Steve, 1980. "The Prisoner's Dilemma and Dynamical Systems Associated to Non-Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(7), pages 1617-1634, November.
    6. Rath, Kali P, 1992. "A Direct Proof of the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games with a Continuum of Players," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(3), pages 427-433, July.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Felgenhauer, Mike & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2007. "Safety Nets Within Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6317, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Marisa Ratto & Wendelin Schnedler, 2003. "Too few cooks spoil the broth," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/090, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    3. Davide Infante & Janna Smirnova, 2010. "Market Failures within Poor Institutions: The Effects of Bureaucrats’ Rent-seeking Activity," Chapters,in: Institutional and Social Dynamics of Growth and Distribution, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Vafai, Kouroche, 2002. "Preventing abuse of authority in hierarchies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1143-1166, October.
    5. Fahad Khalil & Jacques Lawarrée & Sungho Yun, 2007. "Bribery vs. Extortion: Allowing the Lesser of two Evils," CESifo Working Paper Series 1993, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Bac, Mehmet & Bag, Parimal Kanti, 2006. "Beneficial collusion in corruption control: The case of nonmonetary penalties," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 478-499, December.
    7. Osipian, Ararat, 2008. "The World is Flat: Modeling Educators’ Misconduct with Cellular Automata," MPRA Paper 7592, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Antonio Estache & L. Wren-Lewis, 2008. "Towards a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Laffont's Lead," Working Papers ECARES 2008_018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. VafaI, Kouroche, 2005. "Abuse of authority and collusion in organizations," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 385-405, June.
    10. Antonio Estache & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2009. "Toward a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Jean-Jacques Laffont's Lead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 729-770, September.
    11. Kenny, Charles & Soreide, Tina, 2008. "Grand Corruption in Utilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4805, The World Bank.
    12. Yanhua ZHANG, 2005. "Collusion and Commitment in Bank Bailout," Industrial Organization 0509011, EconWPA.
    13. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2373-2437 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Czap Hans J. & Nur-tegin Kanybek D., 2012. "Government Positions for Sale - A Model of Grand Corruption," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-27, August.
    15. Marisa Agostini & Giovanni Favero, 2012. "Accounting fraud, business failure and creative auditing: A micro-analysis of the strange case of Sunbeam Corp," Working Papers 12, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, revised Mar 2013.
    16. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf, 2002. "Making corrupt deals: contracting in the shadow of the law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 221-241, July.
    17. Lambsdorff, Johann, 2001. "How corruption in government affects public welfare: A review of theory," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 9, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General


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