Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Income Shocks and Corruption in Africa : Does a Virtuous Cycle Exist?
    (2011) Voors, Maarten J.; Bulte, Erwin H.; Damania, Richard
    Empirical evidence suggests that governance quality is a key driver of economic growth and that, in turn, higher incomes might have a positive causal effect on the quality of governance. Such complementarity could invite virtuous cycles of development. Using a measure of corruption as our proxy for the quality of governance, and rainfall as an instrument for income, we explore this issue and find evidence to the contrary. For a panel of African countries, positive income shocks on average tend to invite extra corruption. Closer inspection, however, reveals that this result can be attributed to the most corrupt countries. Conversely, countries with a sufficiently low level of corruption can escape the detrimental effect of income booms on corruption and may actually experience a virtuous cycle of development.
  • Publication
    Decentralization and Corruption : New Cross-country Evidence
    (2011) Ivanyna, Maksym; Shah, Anwar
    We attempt to improve the understanding and measurement of decentralization and its relationship with corruption in a worldwide context. This is done by presenting the conceptual underpinnings of such a relationship as well as using more defensible measures of both decentralization in its various dimensions as well as corruption for a sample of 158 countries. It is the first paper that treats various tiers of local governments (below the intermediate order of government) as the unit of comparative analysis. By pursuing rigorous econometric analysis we demonstrate that decentralization, when properly measured to mean moving government closer to people by empowering local governments, is shown to have a significant negative effect on the incidence of corruption regardless of the choice of the estimation procedures or the measures of corruption used. In terms of various dimensions of decentralized local governance, political decentralization matters even when we control for fiscal decentralization. Further voice (political accountability) is empirically shown to be more important in combating corruption than exit options made available though competition among jurisdictions.
  • Publication
    African Patrimonialism in Historical Perspective: Assessing Decentralized and Privatized Tax Administration
    (2011) Kiser, Edgar; Sacks, Audrey
    One of the most important political legacies of colonialism in Africa has been the reliance on the model of centralized bureaucratic administration, which has had disastrous consequences for African state-building. Like the colonial systems before them, these centralized bureaucracies have not functioned effectively. One of the main problems is a loose coupling between the formal bureaucratic structure of these states and the informal patrimonial elements, mainly patronage, that came to permeate them. Many scholars thus referred to these states as neopatrimonial. Over the past two to three decades, many governments have begun to replace centralized bureaucracies with different forms of partially patrimonial systems, including various forms of decentralization and partial privatization. This article uses both Weber and contemporary agency theory to evaluate the success of these new forms of partially patrimonial administration and to suggest ways in which they could be made more effective.
  • Publication
    The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Six, One, or None?
    (2010) Langbein, Laura; Knack, Stephen
    Aggregate indexes of the quality of governance, covering large samples of countries, have become popular in comparative political analysis. Few studies examine the validity or reliability of these indexes. To partially fill this gap, this study uses factor, confirmatory factor and path analysis to test both measurement and causal models of the six Worldwide Governance indicators. They purportedly measure distinct concepts of control of corruption, rule of law, government effectiveness, rule quality, political stability, and voice and accountability. Rather than distinguishing among aspects of the quality of governance, we find that they appear to be measuring the same broad concept.
  • Publication
    Corruption in Public Service Delivery : An Experimental Analysis
    (2009) Barr, Abigail; Lindelow, Magnus; Serneels, Pieter
    To improve our understanding of corruption in service delivery, we use a newly designed game that allows us to investigate the effects of the institutional environment on the behavior of service providers and their monitors. We focus on the effect of four different factors: whether monitors are accountable to the service recipients, the degree of observability of service providers' effort, the providers' wages and the providers' professional norms. In accordance with theory, we find that service providers perform better when monitors are elected by service recipients and when their effort is more easily observed. However, there is only weak evidence that service providers perform better when paid more. Monitors are more vigilant when elected and when service providers are paid more. Playing the game with Ethiopian nursing students, we also find that those with greater exposure to the Ethiopian public health sector perform less well, either as provider or as monitor, when the experiment is framed as a public health provision scenario, suggesting that experience and norms affect behavior.
  • Publication
    Corruption and Concession Renegotiations : Evidence from the Water and Transport Sectors in Latin America
    (2009) Guasch, J. Luis
    Numerous renegotiations have plagued water and transport concession contracts in Latin America. Using a panel dataset of over 300 concession contracts from Latin America between 1989 and 2000, we show that country-level corruption is a significant determinant of these renegotiations and that the effect of corruption varies depending on the type of renegotiations considered. While a more corrupt environment clearly leads to more firm-led renegotiations, it significantly reduces the incidence of government-led ones. The paper then discusses and tests the likely channels through which these different effects of corruption arise, looking in particular at the interactions between country-level corruption and relevant microeconomic institutions.
  • Publication
    The Simple Economics of Extortion: Evidence from Trucking in Aceh
    (2009) Olken, Benjamin A.; Barron, Patrick
    This paper tests whether the behavior of corrupt officials is consistent with standard industrial organization theory. We designed a study in which surveyors accompanied Indonesian truck drivers on 304 trips, during which they observed over 6,000 illegal payments to police, soldiers, and weigh station attendants. Using plausibly exogenous changes in the number of checkpoints, we show that market structure affects the level of illegal payments. We further show that corrupt officials use complex pricing schemes, including third-degree price discrimination and a menu of two-part tariffs. Our findings illustrate the importance of considering the market structure for bribes when designing anticorruption policy.
  • Publication
    Subject Pool Effects in a Corruption Experiment: A Comparison of Indonesian Public Servants and Indonesian Students
    (2009) Alatas, Vivi; Cameron, Lisa; Chaudhuri, Ananish; Erkal, Nisvan; Gangadharan, Lata
    We report results from a corruption experiment with Indonesian public servants and Indonesian students. Our results suggest that the Indonesian public servant subjects have a significantly lower tolerance of corruption than the Indonesian students. We find no evidence that this is due to a selection effect. The reasons given by the subjects for their behaviour suggest that the differences in behavior across the subject pools are driven by their different real life experiences. For example, when abstaining from corruption, public servants more often cite the need to reduce the social costs of corruption as a reason for their actions, and when engaging in corruption, they cite low government salaries or a belief that corruption is a necessary evil in the current environment. In contrast, students give more simplistic moral reasons. We conclude by emphasizing that results obtained from different subject pools can complement each other in illuminating different aspects of the same problem.
  • Publication
    The State and International Development Management: Commentary from International Development Management Practitioners
    (2008) Bertucci, Guido; Cooley, Larry; Fn'Piere, Patricia A.; Hughes, Paul D.; Manning, Nick
    Poverty, instability, terrorism, and the emergence of new global actors characterize some of the central challenges facing twenty-first-century development and administration. Derick W. Brinkerhoff, a distinguished scholar in this field, delivered this Ferrel Heady Roundtable Lecture in 2007. He explores broadly the evolution of contemporary thinking concerning international development management. From his analysis, he draws thought-provoking clues regarding what works and what research questions remain to be answered. His central thesis: Lessons from past experience need to better inform current policy and practice. Five seasoned development administrators respond critically to Brinkerhoff's arguments, offering PAR readers an informative, insightful, and germane intellectual exchange.
  • Publication
    Public Spending and Outcomes: Does Governance Matter?
    (2008) Rajkumar, Andrew Sunil; Swaroop, Vinaya
    This paper studies the links between public spending, governance, and outcomes. We examine the role of governance--measured by the level of corruption and the quality of bureaucracy--in determining the efficacy of public spending in improving human development outcomes. Our analysis contributes to our understanding of the relationship between public spending, governance and outcomes, and helps explain the surprising result that public spending often does not yield the expected improvement in outcomes. We show empirically that the differences in the efficacy of public spending can be largely explained by the quality of governance. Public health spending lowers child mortality rates more in countries with good governance. Similarly, public spending on primary education becomes more effective in increasing primary education attainment in countries with good governance. More generally, public spending has virtually no impact on health and education outcomes in poorly governed countries. These findings have important implications for enhancing the development effectiveness of public spending. The lessons are particularly relevant for developing countries, where public spending on education and health is relatively low, and the state of governance is often poor.