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Social accountability to contain corruption

Listed author(s):
  • Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

In this paper we investigate the welfare properties of simple reappointment rules aimed at holding public officials accountable and monitoring their activity. Public officials allocate budget resources to various activities delivering public services to citizens. Officials have discretion over the use of resource, and can divert some of them for private ends. Due to a liability constraint, zero diversion can never be obtained in all states. The optimal reappointment mechanism under complete information is shown to exhibit some leniency. In the absence of information a rule with random verification in a pre-announced subset is shown to be optimal. Surprisingly, most common rules make little use of hard information about service delivery when available. By way of contrast, requesting that the public official defend his record publicly can be very useful if service users can refute false claims with cheap-talk complaints: the first-best complete information outcome can be approached.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" with number halshs-01156481.

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Date of creation: Sep 2015
Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, 2015, 116, pp.158-168. 〈10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.04.006〉
Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-01156481
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.04.006
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01156481
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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  1. Lipman Barton L. & Seppi Duane J., 1995. "Robust Inference in Communication Games with Partial Provability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 370-405, August.
  2. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
  3. Jacob Glazer & Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "On Optimal Rules of Persuasion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1715-1736, November.
  4. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
  5. Rubinstein, Ariel & Glazer, Jacob, 2006. "A study in the pragmatics of persuasion: a game theoretical approach," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 395-410, December.
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