Rose-Ackerman, S. & R. Truex (2013). "Corruption and Policy Reform." in B. Lomborg & Copenhagen Consensus (eds), Global Problems, Smart Solutions: Costs and Benefits. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. 

Limiting corruption and self-dealing is a precondition for making progress on the other challenges facing the world -- such as poverty, low levels of health and education, and environmental degradation. A beautifully designed policy that seems to have high net benefits may fail in the face of weak institutions. Those seeking to further economic development need to understand the institutional origins of corruption and to take them in to account in designing polices. The paper presents six linked types of reforms that can be part of an overall anti-corruption strategy. These include external monitoring and enforcement combined with the punishment of wrongdoers. Recognizing the limited impact of such strategies, the authors then concentrate on bottom-up reforms under which the victims of corruption help to limit its incidence. The paper then discusses internal controls, ranging from reforms in the civil service system to the redesign of programs and service delivery. The next section moves to the top of the government hierarchy to discuss the control of high-level corruption that distorts infrastructure projects, defense spending, privatization of public assets, and concession contracts. This discussion is followed by an effort to locate situations where the private market can substitute for the state to limit corrupt incentives. Finally, the paper lays out a set of new initiatives pursued at the international level. It concludes with some reflections on the state of the art of quantitative research on corruption and its reform.


Truex, R. & T. Soreide. (2011). Why Multistakeholder Groups Succeed and Fail. in S. Rose-Ackerman and T. Soreide (eds), The International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption: Volume 2. Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. 

Anti-corruption initiatives increasingly use multi-stakeholder groups, comprised of representatives from government, private sector, and civil society organizations, to drive implementation at the local level and serve as a force for transparency. In theory, the multi-stakeholder ideal is quite appealing-- each stakeholder has its own interest in the initiative and contributes its unique capacities. In practice, many multi-stakeholder groups have fallen short of expectations. This paper considers two separate but related questions. First, what are the unique barriers to implementation facing multi-stakeholder groups? Second, what policy measures can be taken to improve the likelihood that multi-stakeholder groups will succeed? The authors use existing research in political science and economics to develop a multi-level framework that accounts for the "nested nature" of multi-stakeholder groups. The framework is then applied to experiences of MSGs from the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, a new pilot program that aims to promote transparency in construction through the release of material project information. The evidence shows that the barriers facing multi-stakeholder groups are substantial, but once the level (individual incentives, organizational dynamics, country context, or international pressures) of the challenge confronting a multi-stakeholer group is identified, the specific barrier, its root causes, and appropriate solutions can be identified. More broadly, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative experiences that multi-stakeholder groups are best used as a means of promoting dialogue and building consensus, not as the locus of policy implementation and oversight. 

Note: This paper also appeared in the World Bank Policy Research Working Paper series (no. 5495)