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On the (In)Effectiveness of Some Commonly Proposed Anti-Corruption Reforms

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  • Evrenk, Haldun

    () (Suffolk University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Using a theoretical model of two-candidate political competition under probabilistic voting, I study the effectiveness of the following anti-corruption reforms: (i) higher wages for politicians, (ii) higher penalties for political corruption, and (iii) constitutional constraints on the tax rates and the public good levels. In the setup I study, the competing candidates may differ in their popularity, (non-verifiable) ability, and corruptibility. I find that the reforms are more likely to be effective when the candidates are (almost) identical. When the candidates differ significantly from each other, each reform may increase equilibrium level of corruption or reduce voters' welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Evrenk, Haldun, 2008. "On the (In)Effectiveness of Some Commonly Proposed Anti-Corruption Reforms," Working Papers 2008-5, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:suf:wpaper:2008-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michele Polo, "undated". "Electoral competition and political rents," Working Papers 144, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Glaeser, Edward L. & Goldin, Claudia (ed.), 2008. "Corruption and Reform," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226299587, May.
    5. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
    6. Evrenk, Haldun, 2002. "Political economy of anti-corruption reform in two-candidate elections," MPRA Paper 1958, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2006.
    7. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
      • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    8. John Douglas Wilson, 1989. "An Optimal Tax Treatment Of Leviathan," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 97-117, July.
    9. Evrenk, Haldun, 2008. "A Game-Theoretic Explanation for the Persistence of Political Corruption," Working Papers 2008-3, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.
    10. Evrenk, Haldun, 2008. "Mackerels in the Moonlight: A Duopoly Model of Political Agency," Working Papers 2008-4, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evrenk Haldun, 2009. "A Duopoly Model of Political Agency with Applications to Anti-Corruption Reform," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-38, December.
    2. Evrenk, Haldun, 2008. "Mackerels in the Moonlight: A Duopoly Model of Political Agency," Working Papers 2008-4, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anti-Corruption Reform; Political Corruption; Constitutional Constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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