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How middle-men can undermine anti-corruption reforms

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Abstract

The anti-corruption reform in the Tanzanian tax bureaucracy in the mid-1990s was apparently a short-lived success. In the wake of the reform, a number of “tax experts” established themselves in the market, many of them being laid off tax bureaucrats. We argue that middle-men can undermine the effect of an anti-corruption reform by reducing the uncertainty that firms face vis-à-vis a reformed tax bureaucracy, which in turn may encourage firms to pay bribes rather than taxes. Indeed, under some circumstances, middle-men can cause corruption to be higher after the reform than before the reform. Since the demand for middle-men may increase with the extent of the reform, we also demonstrate that a small reform may be more efficient in combatting corruption than a more radical reform.

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  • Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Torsvik, Gaute & Tungodden, Bertil, 2004. "How middle-men can undermine anti-corruption reforms," Working Papers in Economics 12/04, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2004_012
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    File URL: http://www.uib.no/filearchive/12-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a Cross Section of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230.
    2. Chand, Sheetal K. & Moene, Karl O., 1999. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1129-1140, July.
    3. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2002. "Fighting fiscal corruption: The case of the Tanzania Revenue Authority," CMI Working Papers WP 2002:3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    4. Andvig, Jens Chr. & Moene, Karl Ove, 1990. "How corruption may corrupt," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 63-76, January.
    5. Abbink, Klaus, 2004. "Staff rotation as an anti-corruption policy: an experimental study," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 887-906, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2005. "Corruption in Tax Administration: Lessons from Institutional Reforms in Uganda," CMI Working Papers WP 2005: 10, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    2. Tina Søreide, 2006. "Is it wrong to rank? A critical assessment of corruption indices," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    3. Ajit Mishra & Andrew Samuel, 2016. "Corruption and hold-up: the role of intermediaries," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 575-599, June.
    4. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Ivar Kolstad & Knut Nygaard, 2006. "Bribes, taxes and regulations: Business constraints for micro enterprises in Tanzania," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 2, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    5. Mikhail Drugov & John Hamman & Danila Serra, 2014. "Intermediaries in corruption: an experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 78-99, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; reform; middle-men; institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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