When do anticorruption laws matter? The evidence on public integrity enabling contexts

Abstract

This paper asks if there is evidence that the most common legislation recommended and used in the current anticorruption toolkit is effective in reducing corruption and if specific contexts can be identified which enable or disable effective legislation for control of corruption. The paper draws on documented public accountability and anticorruption tools from the PAM, the public accountability mechanisms database of the World Bank, and documents additional ones, including an index of anticorruption regulatory density, comprising anticorruption agencies, existence of an Ombudsman, restrictions to party finance legislation and others. While only fiscal transparency and financial disclosures are found to be significant, the interaction of some tools with context elements, such as freedom of the press of independence of the judiciary enhances their impact. The paper argues finally that the effectiveness of some anticorruption tools is strictly dependent on context, especially the existence of the rule of law, while others remain fully insignificant.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, trans. Julia Conaway Bondarella & Peter Bondarella (Oxford:

    Oxford University Press, 1997). Book I, Chapter I

  2. 2.

    https://www.prsgroup.com/about-us/our-two-methodologies/icrg

  3. 3.

    http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/public-accountability-mechanisms

  4. 4.

    Based on the five years large EU FP7 research project on anticorruption ANTICORRP and the Horizon 20–20 research project Digiwhist.

  5. 5.

    Pope, J. (2000). TI source book 2000. Confronting Corruption: Elements of a National IntegritySystem.Berlin: Transparency International, available at http://www.transparency.org.nz/docs/2000/Elementsof-a-National-Integrity-System.pdf

  6. 6.

    In a related argument, see Kleinfeld 2005, on institutions vs. ends in rule of law assistance

  7. 7.

    In a global sample, we also obtain a negative significant relationship between corruption control and the extent of political finance regulation once we control for the differences in the level of development among countries.

  8. 8.

    The classification is based on the World Governance Indicator of the rule of law. Those countries with scores below/above the sample median are classified as non/rule of law countries.

  9. 9.

    However, the values between different groups are not statistically significant, as the results of simple t-tests have shown. Furthermore,

    Figure 5 and Table 1 show the changes in country scores for control of corruption. We should obtain similar results if we used percentile ranks instead.

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Mungiu-Pippidi, A., Dadašov, R. When do anticorruption laws matter? The evidence on public integrity enabling contexts. Crime Law Soc Change 68, 387–402 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10611-017-9693-3

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