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Reducing Bureaucratic Corruption: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on What Works

60 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2017 Last revised: 2 Sep 2017

Jordan Gans-Morse

Northwestern University

Mariana Borges

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science

Alexey Makarin

Northwestern University, Department of Economics, Students

Theresa Mannah Blankson

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Andre Nickow

Northwestern University - Department of Sociology

Dong Zhang

Lingnan University

Date Written: August 5, 2017

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This article offers the first comprehensive review of the interdisciplinary state of knowledge regarding anti-corruption policies, with a particular focus on reducing corruption among civil servants. Drawing on the work of economists, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists, we examine seven categories of anti-corruption strategies: (1) rewards and penalties; (2) monitoring; (3) restructuring bureaucracies; (4) screening and recruiting; (5) anti-corruption agencies; (6) educational campaigns; and (7) international agreements. Notably, rigorous empirical evaluation is lacking for the majority of commonly prescribed anti-corruption strategies. Nevertheless, we find growing evidence of the effectiveness of anti-corruption audits and e-governance. In addition, adequate civil service wages seem to be a necessary but insufficient condition for control of corruption. An emerging skepticism regarding the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies also is apparent in the literature. We conclude with broader lessons drawn from our review, such as the recognition that when corruption is a systemic problem, it cannot be treated in the long-term with individual-level solutions.

Keywords: Corruption, Bureaucracy, Anti-Corruption Policy, Interdisciplinary Review

JEL Classification: D73, H83, O17, Z13

Suggested Citation

Gans-Morse, Jordan and Borges, Mariana and Makarin, Alexey and Mannah Blankson, Theresa and Nickow, Andre and Zhang, Dong, Reducing Bureaucratic Corruption: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on What Works (August 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2930520

Jordan Gans-Morse (Contact Author)

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Mariana Borges

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place (Scott Hall)
Evanston, IL 60201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.marianaborges.info/

Alexey Makarin

Northwestern University, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

2001 Sheridan Rd
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/alexeymakarin/

Theresa Mannah Blankson

University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

United States
4135770810 (Phone)
4135770261 (Fax)

Andre Nickow

Northwestern University - Department of Sociology ( email )

1810 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Dong Zhang

Lingnan University ( email )

8 Castle Peak Road
Lingnan University
Tuen Mun, New Territories
Hong Kong

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