Bureaucracy, Politics and Corruption

47 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 20 Aug 2009

See all articles by Carl Dahlström

Carl Dahlström

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Victor Lapuente

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Jan Teorell

Lund University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Most comparative studies on corruption are geared towards the analysis of factors dealing with the selection and the incentives of actors taking policy decisions in a state. With few exceptions, such as Rauch & Evans (2000), the selection and incentives of actors within the state apparatus in charge of implementing policies have been neglected. In turn, the studies that take bureaucratic features into account do not control for political institutions. This paper aims at bridging the gap between these two institutionalist approaches by analyzing an original dataset from a survey answered by 520 experts from 52 countries. There are two main empirical findings. First, some bureaucratic factors, and especially meritocratic recruitment, reduce corruption, even when controlling for the impact of most standard political variables such as years of democracy, the number of veto players or the type of electoral system. Second, the analysis shows that other allegedly relevant features in the bureaucratic institutionalist literature, such as public employees’ competitive salaries, career stability or internal promotion, do not have a significant impact.

Suggested Citation

Dahlström, Carl and Lapuente, Victor and Teorell, Jan, Bureaucracy, Politics and Corruption (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1450742

Carl Dahlström (Contact Author)

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Victor Lapuente

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Jan Teorell

Lund University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Department of Political Science
Box 52
Lund, SE 40530
Sweden

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