IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Seeds of corruption - Do market institutions matter?


  • Broadman, Harry G.
  • Recanatini, Francesca


Ten years into the transition, corruption is so pervasive that it could jeopardize the best-intentioned reform efforts. The authors present an analytical framework for examining the role market institutions play in rent-seeking and illicit behavior. Using recently available data on the incidence of corruption, and on institutional development, they provide preliminary evidence on the link between the development of market institutions, and incentives for corruption. Virtually all of the indicators they examine appear to be important, but three are statistically significant: 1) the intensity of barriers to the entry of new business. 2) The effectiveness of the legal system. 3) The efficacy and competitiveness of services provided by infrastructure monopolies. The main lesson emerging from their analysis: a well established system of market institutions - clear and transparent rules, fully functioning checks and balances (including strong enforcement mechanisms), and a robust competitive environment - reduces opportunities for rent-seeking and hence incentives for corruption. Both the design, and effective implementation of such measures are important if a market system is to be effective. It is not enough, for example, to enact first-rate laws if they are not enforced. The local political economy greatly affects whether a given policy reform will curtail corruption. Especially important are the following factors in the political economy: a) the credibility of the government's commitment to carrying out announced reforms. B) The degree to which government officials are captured by the entities they regulate or oversee. C) the stability of the government itself. D) The political power of entrenched vested interests. Economists in the field of industrial organization, antitrust, and regulation have long recognized these factors as potent determinants of opportunistic behavior, corruption, and"capture"of government officials. Only now are they becoming conventional wisdom among specialists in economies in transition.

Suggested Citation

  • Broadman, Harry G. & Recanatini, Francesca, 2000. "Seeds of corruption - Do market institutions matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2368, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2368

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
    2. Fleming, Alex & Lily Chu & Bakker, Marie-Renee, 1996. "The Baltics - Banking crises observed," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1647, The World Bank.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, April.
    4. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
    5. Brunetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1997. "Institutions in transition : reliability of rules and economic performance in former Socialist countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1809, The World Bank.
    6. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    7. Gatti, Roberta, 1999. "Corruption and trade tariffs, or a case for uniform tariffs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2216, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Iwasaki, Ichiro & Suzuki, Taku, 2012. "The determinants of corruption in transition economies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 54-60.
    2. Langbein, Laura & Knack, Stephen, 2008. "The worldwide governance indicators and tautology : causally related separable concepts, indicators of a common cause, or both ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4669, The World Bank.
    3. repec:kap:enreec:v:69:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0071-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniele, Vittorio & Marani, Ugo, 2011. "Organized crime, the quality of local institutions and FDI in Italy: A panel data analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 132-142, March.
    5. Bacchetta, Marc & Drabek, Zdenek, 2002. "Effects of WTO accession on policy-making in sovereign states: Preliminary lessons from the recent experience of transition countries," WTO Staff Working Papers DERD-2002-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2368. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.