Bureaucracy, Politics and Corruption
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.
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