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Why Are Some Public Officials more Corrupt Than Others?

  • Jennifer Hunt

Using detailed Peruvian data measuring bribery, I assess which types of public official are most corrupt and why. I distinguish between the bribery rate and the size of bribes received, and seek to explain the variation in each across public institutions. The characteristics of officials%u2019 clients explain most of the variation for bribery rates, but none for bribe amounts. A measure of the speed of honest service at the institution explains much of the remaining variation for both bribery rates and amounts. The results indicate that the bribery rate is higher at institutions with bribe-prone clients, and that bribery rates and bribe amounts are higher where clients are frustrated at slow service. Faster and better service would reduce corruption. Overall, the judiciary and the police are by far the most corrupt institutions.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11595.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11595.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Publication status: published as Rose-Ackerman, Susan (ed.) International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2006.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11595
Note: LE LS
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  1. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2000. "Decentralization and corruption - evidence across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2290, The World Bank.
  2. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2000. "Interindustry and Interregion Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 516-521, August.
  3. Jennifer Hunt, 2004. "Trust and Bribery: The Role of the Quid Pro Quo and the Link with Crime," NBER Working Papers 10510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. McMillan, John & Zoido, Paolo, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," CEPR Discussion Papers 4361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  6. Jennifer Hunt & Sonia Laszlo, 2005. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What Are The Payoffs?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp792, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-42, July.
  8. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
  9. Anand V. Swamy & Stephen Knack & Young Lee & Omar Azfar, 2000. "Gender and Corruption," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  11. Naci Mocan, 2004. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 10460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Seminar Papers 713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, . "A Quantitative Exploration of the Golden Age of European Growth: Structural Change, Public Investment, the Marshall Plan and Intra-European Trade," Working Papers UWEC-2004-15, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  14. George J. Borjas & Glenn T. Sueyoshi, 1993. "A Two-Stage Estimator for Probit Models with Structural Group Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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