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Corruption in a Model of Growth: Political Reputation, Competition and Shocks

Bruno Ventelou
Public Choice
Vol. 110, No. 1/2 (2002), pp. 23-40
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30026378
Page Count: 18
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Corruption in a Model of Growth: Political Reputation, Competition and Shocks
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Abstract

The article tries to incorporate "political corruption" (top level corruption) into economic growth analysis. We propose a microeconomic framework. An agent of the public sector, who wants to optimize his cash flow resulting from budget misappropriations, will be highly sensitive to the instability related to his office. The natural equilibrium for the politician will be to fall into a 'high political instability-low growth' trap, in which corruption appears endemic. However, the control of corruption by society will be possible. We consider a model in which alternative politicians compete with the incumbent politician but benefit from a common political reputation. It is shown that this situation leads to "dynamic collective reputation", which should restrain misappropriation practices. This theoretical framework will be useful in defining a "sustainable" degree of political competition and in understanding the asymmetric effects of extrinsic shocks on the growth process.

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