Corruption, accountability, and decentralization: theory and evidence from Mexico
One of the fundamental tenets of fiscal federalism is that, absent various sorts of externalities, decentralized governments that rely on own-source revenues should be more fiscally efficient than decentralized governments that rely on grant financing. The argument relies in part on the idea that sub-national governments, being closer to the people, are more accountable to its citizens. Accountability to citizens is also important in understanding the presence of corruption in government. This suggests that the financial structure and institutions of decentralized governments can potentially influence the degree and extent of corrupt activity. Financial structures that make governments more accountable should be associated with less corruption (other things equal), while financial structures with less accountability should be associated with more corrupt activities. We develop a simple model in which the use of grants rather than locally raised taxes increases corruption. We then use a panel data set of Mexican states to study the relationship between funding sources for Mexican states and the level of corruption in those states. We find that greater use of own tax revenues lowers corruption while greater use of grants increases corruption. This suggests that expenditure decentralization that is accompanied by revenue decentralization is likely to discourage corruption while expenditure decentralization that is funded by grants tends to encourage corruption. We also find that poverty, a measure of uninformed citizens, leads to greater corruption.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Carrer del Tinent Coronel Valenzuela 1-11, 08034 Barcelona|
Phone: 93 403 46 46
Fax: 93 403 98 32
Web page: http://www.ieb.ub.edu
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
- Goodspeed, T-J & White, A-D, 1996. "International taxation," Papers 96-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
- Timothy Besley & Michael Smart, 2005.
"Fiscal restraints and voter welfare,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
3769, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Timothy Besley & Michael Smart, 2005. "Fiscal Restraints and Voter Welfare," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 06, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Prat, Andrea, 2002.
"Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
- Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Jonathan A. Rodden & Gunnar S. Eskeland (ed.), 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182297, December.
- Wildasin, David E., 1997.
"Externalities and bailouts : hard and soft budget constraints in intergovernmental fiscal relations,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1843, The World Bank.
- David E. Wildasin, 2001. "Externalities and Bailouts: Hard and Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," Public Economics 0112002, EconWPA.
- Fan, C. Simon & Lin, Chen & Treisman, Daniel, 2009. "Political decentralization and corruption: Evidence from around the world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 14-34, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/11/doc2011-32. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.