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Social Accountability: Persuasion and Debate to Contain Corruption

  • Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

In this paper we investigate the properties of simple rules for reappointment aimed at holding a public official accountable and monitor his activity. The public official allocates budget resources to various activities which results in the delivery of public services to citizens. He has discretion over the use of resource so he can divert some of them for private ends. Because of a liability constraint, zero diversion can never be secured in all states. The optimal reappointment mechanism under complete information is shown to exhibit some leniency thus departing from the zero tolerance principle. Under asymmetric information (about the state), a rule with random verification in a pre-announced subset is shown to be optimal in a class of common rules. Surprisingly, those common rules make little use of hard information about service delivery when available. Similarly, PO's claim about his record is of no value to improve the performance of the examined rules. In contrast requesting that the PO defends his records publicly can be very useful if the service users are given the chance to refute false claims with cheap talk complaints: the first best complete information outcome can be approached in the absence of any observation by the manager of the accountability mechanism.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00922092.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00922092
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  1. Eric Maskin, 2003. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2004. "Evidence disclosure and verifiability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-31, 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 & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Fox, Jonathan A, 2007. "The uncertain relationship between transparency and accountability," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt8c25c3z4, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. Sher, Itai, 2011. "Credibility and determinism in a game of persuasion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 409-419, March.
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