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Organized vs. competitive corruption
Celentani, Marco; Ganuza, Juan J.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We study bureaucratic corruption in a model in which a constituencysets required levels for a given set of activities. Each activity iscarried out by an external provider, and its realization is supervisedby a bureaucrat. While bureaucrats are supposed to act on behalf of theconstituency, they can decide to be corrupt and allow providers todeliver lower activity levels than contracted in exchange for a bribe.Given this, the constituency sets the optimal activity levels weighingoff the value of activity levels, their costs, as well as the possibilityfor the bureaucrats to be corrupt. We use this setup to study the impacton equilibrium corruption of the degree of decentralization of corruption.To do this we compute equilibrium corruption in two different settings:1) Each bureaucrat acts in such a way as to maximize his own individualutility (competitive corruption); 2) An illegal syndicate oversee thecorruption decisions of the population of bureaucrats in such a way asto maximize total proceeds from corruption (organized corruption). Weshow that, since average corruption payoff is increasing in the activitylevels set by the constituency, and since the latter responds to highlevels of corruption by reducing required activity levels, in equilibriumthe illegal syndicate acts in such a way as to restrain the total numberof corrupt transactions, so that corruption is lower when it is organizedthan when it is competitive.
15-09-2005
Microeconomics
competitive and organized corruption
institutional response
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