Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Tag: corruption

    Found 10 posts.

    Corruption and growth, revisited

    By - 10 de September de 2014, 5:30 pm

    corruption and growth

    Some years ago, there was a tsunami in the economics literature on the relationship between economic growth and corruption. When it became clear that correlation is not causation, and that perception is not necessarily reality, the wave dwindled, although a corruption-index industry did thrive, (for a while).

    A recent paper retakes this issue from a more rigorous stance.

    The first [contribution of this paper] is a simple but important empirical contribution: We provide causal evidence on the effect of economic growth on the amount of corruption in an economy. Despite much interest in the relationship between corruption and development, there exists very little credible evidence of a causal relationship.


    Our second contribution is to lay out a mechanism through which economic growth reduces corruption.


    Our results have several implications for understanding the determinants of corruption in developing countries. The finding that growth reduces corruption suggests that corruption might decline naturally as a country grows even without explicit anti-corruption efforts.


    The results also highlight a complex interplay between growth and institutions. The fact that economic growth is most successful in reducing corruption when coupled with strong property rights implies a complementarity between policies to strengthen institutions and to promote growth, and a mechanism through which strengthening institutions can be self-reinforcing.

    So, here we go again.

    Corruption: peeking below the tip of the iceberg

    By - 17 de December de 2013, 11:01 am

    By: Isabel Contreras and Juanita Riaño (IADB´s Office of Institutional Integrity)

    anticoorrupt eng

    Every year on December 9 the International Anti-Corruption Day is celebrated. This year’s message reminds us that we all have a responsibility in the fight against corruption, as it hinders achieving our goals of sustainable development, and reducing poverty and inequality in Latin-America and the Caribbean. At the Office of Institutional Integrity at the IADB we need to use the data we manage better, in order to be more effective against corruption, bearing in mind that data on both corruption and on our own operations, grows and grows.

    And as data grows and grows, open data policies and data mining become very important. Read more…

    Sunlight disinfects, but beware of the shade!

    By - 26 de February de 2013, 6:55 am

    By Leopoldo Fergusson* and Juan Fernando Vargas**

    vargas fergusson eng

    Having a free and active media is recognized as essential for political accountability. By providing information, mass media can help voters make better decisions and hold politicians accountable.

    Often, journalists also help uncover corruption scandals and undue influence of special interests groups. A famous example from US history is the Progressive Era, when many argue that an active, informative press reduced corruption and mobilized the population against the power and abuses of the robber barons.

    It is precisely around this time that Louis Brandeis famously remarked, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Earlier, Thomas Jefferson went so far as to say that free media is sufficient for political accountability: “Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.

    In a recent paper with Mauricio Vela (IADB), we argue that Jefferson’s statement is incomplete: free media is no guarantee of political accountability. In particular, unless free media operates in a sufficiently strong institutional environment, their provision of information about politicians may not increase political accountability and may even have unintended negative consequences. Read more…

    Accountability and corruption

    By - 19 de February de 2013, 12:23 pm

    Accountability and corruption

    For a while I have been meaning to write a post on the impact of political institutions on corruption based on an interesting paper on municipal elections in Brazil. The paper shows that the reelection specter helps in disciplining corrupt politicians

    Mayors with reelection incentives misappropriate 27 percent fewer resources than mayors without reelection incentives. These effects are more pronounced among municipalities with less access to information and where the likelihood of judicial punishment is lower.

    Overall our findings suggest that electoral rules that enhance political accountability play a crucial role in constraining politician’s corrupt behavior.

    But… Read more…

    The tip of the Iceberg

    By - 22 de November de 2012, 10:51 am

    corruption international agencies

    One of the first things I do most mornings is check-out Chris Blattman’s blog. He recently posted a very provocative entry on corruption, criticizing the emphasis that many international agencies place on it, calling it an “Anglo-American fetish.”

    Westerners care about corruption far out of proportion to its impact on poverty alleviation and economic growth.

    […] To be clear, my point wasn’t that corruption is unimportant. But if we’re talking about where the world ought to focus its aid energy for the next fifteen years, I simply wouldn’t use corruption in the same sentence (or even paragraph) as civil war or property rights.

    So he might not use it in the same paragraph as civil war, but maybe he could use it in the same book, as in Why Nations Fail, understanding that Read more…