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Crackdown on Corruption: A Natural Experiment in Safe and Swing Districts

  • Bledi Celiku

I investigate the theoretical and empirical effects of increased law enforcement on the equilibrium level of bribes for the case of Albania during the period of 2005-2010. My paper centers on "harassment" bribes, which consist of payments for public services that by law should be free. I model bribery behavior as a negotiation process between public oofficials and consumers. As enforcement increases, corruption prevalence can, in theory, increase or decrease. Recent policy changes in Albania o er a good natural experiment to test this empirically. Two events took place in 2007: local elections and an increase in fines against corruption. I examine how the 2007 fine increase for corrupt behavior impacts bribery. Data show that corruption is a bigger problem for poor people and since the left's political platform is more pro-poor, looking at the left-right governed district variation seems appropriate. Using a difference in difference methodology that compares safe left and right-governed districts, I find that a 10 percent increase in enforcement leads to a 4.38 percent drop in bribery frequency. As enforcement increases, quality of services does not improve and enforcement measures are less e ffective on the medical and education sectors.

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Paper provided by Job Market Papers in its series 2013 Papers with number pce148.

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Date of creation: 05 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:jmp:jm2013:pce148
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://ideas.repec.org/jmp.html

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  1. McMillan, John & Zoido, Pablo, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," Research Papers 1851r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 2001. "Corruption and optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-24, July.
  3. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 259-267, 04/05.
  4. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2011. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1274-1311, June.
  5. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2004. "Local Capture: Evidence From a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 678-704, May.
  6. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  7. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, 07.
  8. Abbink, Klaus & Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Gangadharan, Lata & Jain, Tarun, 2012. "Letting the briber go free: an experiment on mitigating harassment bribes," MPRA Paper 42176, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1020-1048, December.
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