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Bureaucracy intermediaries, corruption and red tape

Listed author(s):
  • Fredriksson, Anders

    ()

    (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

Intermediaries helping individuals and firms with the government bureaucracy are common in developing countries. Although such bureaucracy intermediaries are, anecdotally, linked with corruption and welfare losses, few formal analyses exist. In our model, a government license can benefit individuals. We study individuals' net gain when acquiring the license through the regular bureaucratic procedure, through bribing or through intermediaries. For a given procedure, individuals using intermediaries are better off than if intermediaries and corruption had not existed. Intermediaries "grease the wheels". We then study incentives of corrupt bureaucrats to create red tape. When free to choose levels of red tape, bureaucrats implement more red tape and individuals are unambiguously worse off in a setting with intermediaries than with "direct" corruption only. Intermediaries can thus improve access to the bureaucracy, but also strengthen incentives to create red tape - a potential explanation why license procedures tend to be long in developing countries.

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Paper provided by Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics in its series SITE Working Paper Series with number 10.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 14 Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hasite:0010
Note: The author now works at CRED - Centre for Research in Economic Development, University of Namur, Belgium (Information as of March, 2013). The paper has been revised, the new version is available as a CRED working paper at http://www.fundp.ac.be/eco/economie/recherche/wpseries/wp/1303.pdf.
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Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
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  19. Husted, Bryan W., 1994. "Honor Among Thieves: A Transaction-Cost Interpretation of Corruption in Third World Countries," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 17-27, January.
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