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A Big Push to Deter Corruption: Evidence from Italy

During the first half of the 1990s a pool of Italian judges carried out an investigation, named Mani Pulite (literally clean hands), that led many public officials to be prosecuted and convicted because of bribery and embezzlement. The impact of Mani Pulite was so much influential that since then many indicators suggest a steadily decreasing path for corruption in Italy. This paper shows that Mani Pulite was mainly effective in deterring corruption as it broke up the feed due to spending in health and social security as well as infrastructure investments, mainly those related to public buildings, sanitation, and land reclamation.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 159.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2006
Date of revision: 01 May 2008
Publication status: Published in Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia, 2008,n. 67(1), pages 75-102.
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:159
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  1. Olken, Benjamin A., 2006. "Corruption and the costs of redistribution: Micro evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 853-870, May.
  2. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 215-238, July.
  3. Acemoglu, D. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," DELTA Working Papers 97-06, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  4. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  5. Tirole, Jean, 1996. "A Theory of Collective Reputations (with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality)," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 1-22, January.
  6. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages F632-F652, November.
  7. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  8. Rauch, James E. & Evans, Peter B., 2000. "Bureaucratic structure and bureaucratic performance in less developed countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 49-71, January.
  9. Miriam A. Golden & Lucio Picci, 2005. "Proposal For A New Measure Of Corruption, Illustrated With Italian Data," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 37-75, 03.
  10. Gupta, Sanjeev & de Mello, Luiz & Sharan, Raju, 2001. "Corruption and military spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 749-777, November.
  11. S. Loddo, 2004. "Old and new intervention Policy: a survey of empirical studies for the Mezzogiorno," Working Paper CRENoS 200401, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  12. Sah, Raaj, 2007. "Corruption across countries and regions: Some consequences of local osmosis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2573-2598, August.
  13. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
  14. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 307-331, August.
  15. Del Monte, Alfredo & Papagni, Erasmo, 2007. "The determinants of corruption in Italy: Regional panel data analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 379-396, June.
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