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Title: Prometheus unbound : quality of government and institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement
Author: Fazekas, Mihály
ISNI:       0000 0004 4298 2903
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2014
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This PhD thesis looks at one of the most crucial determinants of state formation, quality of institutions, and social equality: institutionalised grand corruption. Institutionalised grand corruption denotes the particularistic allocation of public resources, that is violating prior explicit rules in order to benefit a closed network while denying access to all others. Emphasizing access to power and public resources deviates from traditional definitions of corruption resting on individual wrongdoing and abuse of power. The thesis makes use of large amounts of administrative data describing public procurement tenders on transaction level and links it to data on company ownership, financial accounts, and political office of company owners. By using data mining techniques it breaks away from standard, and arguably deficient, measures of quality of institutions and corruption. It proposes a complex ‘blueprint’ for measuring institutionalized grand corruption in the allocation of public resources and applies its key elements to three Central and Eastern European countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. It is emphasized that these cases are only ‘pilot’ measurements, the blueprint is applicable to practically every high and middle income country, data is typically going back in time for 6-8 years. Using such a novel indicator set allows for an unprecedented detail of analysis. Results highlight the role played by European Union Structural and Cohesion Funds in increasing the prevalence of institutionalised grand corruption. This is due to at least two factors, first, they provide additional public resources available for corrupt rent extraction; second, they change the motivations for and controls of corruption. In Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, the first effect increases the value of particularistic resource allocation by up to 1.21% of GDP, while the second effect decreases it by up to 0.03% of GDP. The latter effect is entirely driven by Slovakia; in Czech Republic and Hungary even this effect increases particularism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: European Union ; Hungarian Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: corruption ; public procurement ; EU Funds ; state capacity