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Corruption and the Public Display of Wealth

  • Simona Fabrizi

    ()

    (School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, New Zealand)

  • Steffen Lippert

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

We build a principal-agent-client model of corruption, allowing for heterogeneity in the value of public projects relative to the cost of monitoring their execution and for uncertainty of corruptors regarding the value of a project conducted. We derive the conditions under which officials with low-value projects have an incentive to signal their projects' type, and thereby facilitate their corruption, by means of public displays of wealth. While such public displays reduce the probability with which bribes are offered to officials conducting high-value projects, they increase the probability with which these officials accept bribes sufficiently to offset any positive effect.

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File URL: http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/econ/research/discussionpapers/DP_1202.pdf
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File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by University of Otago, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1202.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision: Jun 2012
Handle: RePEc:otg:wpaper:1202
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Web page: http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/econ
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  1. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
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  4. Paldam, Martin, 2001. "Corruption and Religion Adding to the Economic Model," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 383-413.
  5. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages F632-F652, November.
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  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  9. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1289-1332, November.
  10. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
  11. RafaelDi Tella & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2008. "Choosing agents and monitoring consumption: a note on wealth as a corruption-controlling device," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1552-1571, October.
  12. 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.
  13. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Stefan Krasa & Anne P. Villamil, 2000. "Optimal Contracts when Enforcement Is a Decision Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 119-134, January.
  15. Knack, Steve, 1996. " Institutions and the Convergence Hypothesis: The Cross-National Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(3-4), pages 207-28, June.
  16. Christopher J. Ellis & Oguzhan C. Dincer & Glenn R. Waddell, 2005. "Corruption, Decentralization and Yardstick Competition," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-5, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jan 2006.
  17. Ryvkin, Dmitry & Serra, Danila, 2012. "How corruptible are you? Bribery under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 466-477.
  18. Acemoglu, D. & Verdier, T., 1996. "Property Rights, Corruption and the Allocation of Talent: A General Equilibrium Approach," Working papers 96-5, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Oguzhan C. Dincer & Burak Gunalp, 2012. "Corruption And Income Inequality In The United States," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 283-292, 04.
  20. Harstad, Bård & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Bribes, Lobbying and Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. G. Gulsun Arikan, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization: A Remedy for Corruption?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 175-195, 03.
  22. Edgardo Campos, J. & Lien, Donald & Pradhan, Sanjay, 1999. "The Impact of Corruption on Investment: Predictability Matters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1059-1067, June.
  23. Banerjee, A.V., 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," Working papers 97-4, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  24. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-59, January.
  25. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1975. "The economics of corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 187-203, February.
  26. Paldam, Martin, 2002. "The cross-country pattern of corruption: economics, culture and the seesaw dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 215-240, June.
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