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Anatomy of grand corruption: A composite corruption risk index based on objective data


  • Mihaly Fazekas

    () (University of Cambridge Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology)

  • Istvan Janos Toth

    () (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Lawrence Peter King

    () (Department of Sociology University of Cambridge)


Although both the academic and policy communities have attached great importance to measuring corruption, most of the currently available measures are biased and too broad to test theory or guide policy. This article proposes a new composite indicator of grand corruption based on a wide range of elementary indicators. These indicators are derived from a rich qualitative evidence on public procurement corruption and a statistical analysis of a public procurement data in Hungary. The composite indicator is constructed by linking public procurement process 'red flags' to restrictions of market access. This method utilizes administrative data that is available in practically every developed country and avoids the pitfalls both of perception based indicators and previous 'objective' measures of corruption. It creates an estimation of institutionalised grand corruption that is consistent over time and across countries. The composite indicator is validated using company profitability and political connections data.

Suggested Citation

  • Mihaly Fazekas & Istvan Janos Toth & Lawrence Peter King, 2014. "Anatomy of grand corruption: A composite corruption risk index based on objective data," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1403, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1403

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Straub, Stéphane & Flochel, Thomas, 2016. "Public Procurement and Rent-Seeking: The Case of Paraguay," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 395-407.
    2. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, July.
    3. Coviello, Decio & Gagliarducci, Stefano, 2010. "Building Political Collusion: Evidence from Procurement Auctions," IZA Discussion Papers 4939, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Oriana Bandiera & Andrea Prat & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1278-1308, September.
    5. Daniel Kaufmann & Pedro C. Vicente, 2011. "Legal Corruption," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 195-219, July.
    6. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
    7. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2010. "The worldwide governance indicators : methodology and analytical issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5430, The World Bank.
    8. Di Tella, Rafael & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2003. "The Role of Wages and Auditing during a Crackdown on Corruption in the City of Buenos Aires," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 269-292, April.
    9. Olken, Benjamin A., 2006. "Corruption and the costs of redistribution: Micro evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 853-870, May.
    10. Denis Audet, 2003. "Government procurement: A synthesis report," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 2(3), pages 149-194.
    11. Staffan Andersson & Paul M. Heywood, 2009. "The Politics of Perception: Use and Abuse of Transparency International's Approach to Measuring Corruption," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 57, pages 746-767, December.
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    More about this item


    public procurement; grand corruption; corruption technique; composite corruption risk index;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement

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