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Corrupting Learning: Evidence from Missing Federal Education Funds in Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • Claudio Ferraz

    () (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

  • Frederico Finan

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Diana Belo Moreira

    (World Bank)

Abstract

While cross-country analysis suggests that corruption hinders economic growth, we have little evidence on the mechanisms that link corruption to long-run economic development. We provide micro-evidence on the consequences of corruption for the quality of education. We use data from the auditing of Brazil’s local governments to construct objective measures of corruption involving educational block grants transferred from the central government to municipalities. Using variation in the incidence of corruption across municipalities and controlling for students’, schools’ and municipal characteristics, we find that corruption significantly reduces the school performance of primary school students. Students residing in municipalities where corruption in education was detected score 0.35 standard deviations less on standardized tests, and have significantly higher dropout and failure rates. We also provide evidence on the mechanisms that link corruption and mismanagement to learning and school attainment. The results are consistent with corruption directly affecting economic growth through the reduction of human capital accumulation. JEL Codes: D73, I21, H72

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan & Diana Belo Moreira, 2009. "Corrupting Learning: Evidence from Missing Federal Education Funds in Brazil," Textos para discussão 562, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:562
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Corrupción y educación: tres historias
      by Francisco Mejía in Hacia el desarrollo efectivo on 2011-05-10 20:00:49

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    Cited by:

    1. Borcan, Oana & Lindahl, Mikael & Mitrut, Andreea, 2014. "The impact of an unexpected wage cut on corruption: Evidence from a “Xeroxed” exam," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 32-47.
    2. Xu, Guo, 2013. "Development through Empowerment: Delivering Effective Public Services – a Literature Review," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 382, Asian Development Bank.
    3. Agüero, Jorge M. & Balcázar, Carlos Felipe & Maldonado, Stanislao & Ñopo, Hugo, 2017. "The value of redistribution: natural resources and the formation of human capital under weak institutions," Avances de Investigación 0028, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE).
    4. Giuseppe Attanasi & Claire Rimbaud & Marie Claire Villeval, 2018. "Embezzlement and Guilt Aversion," Working Papers 1807, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    5. Krisztina Kis-Katos & Günther G. Schulze, 2013. "Corruption in Southeast Asia: a survey of recent research," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(1), pages 79-109, May.
    6. Oana Borcan & Mikael Lindahl & Andreea Mitrut, 2017. "Fighting Corruption in Education: What Works and Who Benefits?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 180-209, February.
    7. Sean Higgins & Nora Lustig & Whitney Ruble & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "Comparing the Incidence of Taxes and Social Spending in Brazil and the United States," Working Papers 1317, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    8. Juan Botero & Alejandro Ponce & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Education, Complaints, and Accountability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 959-996.
    9. Branko Milanovic & Sean Higgins & Nora Lustig & Whitney Ruble & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2016. "Comparing the Incidence of Taxes and Social Spending in Brazil and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62, pages 22-46, August.
    10. Lucie Gadenne, 2017. "Tax Me, but Spend Wisely? Sources of Public Finance and Government Accountability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 274-314, January.
    11. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, July.
    12. Muralidharan, Karthik & Das, Jishnu & Holla, Alaka & Mohpal, Aakash, 2017. "The fiscal cost of weak governance: Evidence from teacher absence in India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 116-135.
    13. Konte Maty, 2017. "Working Paper 278 - Education resources and the quality of local governance in Africa," Working Paper Series 2395, African Development Bank.
    14. Guojun He & Shaoda Wang, 2016. "Do College Graduates Serving as Village Officials Help Rural China?," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2016-39, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Nov 2016.
    15. Bienvenido Ortega & Antonio Casquero & Jesús Sanjuán, 2016. "Corruption and Convergence in Human Development: Evidence from 69 Countries During 1990–2012," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 691-719, June.
    16. Julia Alexa Barde, 2014. "What Determines Access to Piped Water in Rural Areas?Evidence from Small-scale Supply Systems in Rural Brazil," Discussion Paper Series 30, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Dec 2014.
    17. Beekman, Gonne & Nillesen, Eleonora & Voors, Maarten, 2018. "Sanctioning Regimes and Chief Quality: Evidence from Liberia," MERIT Working Papers 011, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    18. Julia A. Barde & Juliana Walkiewicz, 2014. "Access to Piped Water and Human Capital Formation - Evidence from Brazilian Primary Schools," Discussion Paper Series 28, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Jul 2014.
    19. Diogo Britto & Stefano Fiorin, 2016. "Corruption and Legislature Size: Evidence from Brazil," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def054, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    20. Gadenne, Lucie, 2016. "Tax Me, But Spend Wisely? Sources of Public Finance and Government Accountability," Economic Research Papers 269315, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    21. Niehaus, Paul & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2013. "The marginal rate of corruption in public programs: Evidence from India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 52-64.
    22. M. Shahe, Emran & Asadul, Islam & Forhad, Shilpi, 2018. "Distributional Effects of Corruption When Enforcement is Biased: Theory and Evidence from Bribery in Schools in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 84637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Beekman, Gonne & Bulte, Erwin & Nillesen, Eleonora, 2014. "Corruption, investments and contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence from rural Liberia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 37-47.
    24. Lü, Xiaobo, 2015. "Intergovernmental transfers and local education provision — Evaluating China's 8-7 National Plan for Poverty Reduction," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 200-211.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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