Unprincipled Principals: Co‐opted Bureaucrats and Corruption in Ghana

  title={Unprincipled Principals: Co‐opted Bureaucrats and Corruption in Ghana},
  author={Sarah Brierley},
  journal={American Journal of Political Science},
  • S. Brierley
  • Published 6 January 2020
  • Political Science
  • American Journal of Political Science
In theory, granting politicians tools to oversee bureaucrats can reduce administrative malfeasance. In contrast, I argue that the political control of bureaucrats can increase corruption when politicians need money to fund election campaigns and face limited institutional constraints. In such contexts, politicians can leverage their discretionary powers to incentivize bureaucrats to extract rents from the state on politicians’ behalf. Using data from an original survey of bureaucrats (N=864… 

Bartering Bureaucrats: FDI Weakens Governance∗

How does global economic integration shape governance in developing countries? We analyze the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on bureaucracies, a critical linchpin of governance largely

Does Political Oversight of the Bureaucracy Increase Accountability? Field Experimental Evidence from a Dominant Party Regime

  • Pia Raffler
  • Political Science
    American Political Science Review
  • 2022
Concerned with poor service delivery, a large literature studies accountability of politicians to voters. This article instead considers accountability relationships within governments—the ability of

Networks of Effectiveness? The Impact of Politicization on Bureaucratic Performance in Pakistan

Bureaucratic performance varies immensely even within low-capacity states. Politicians and bureaucrats create pockets or networks of effectiveness that allow some departments to perform more

Brokering Bureaucrats: How Bureaucrats and Civil Society Facilitate Clientelism Where Parties are Weak

Clientelism, the exchange of selective rewards for votes, is fraught with commitment problems and questions remain regarding how it occurs in settings lacking strong parties. In such settings, we

Gender Heterogeneity of Bureaucrats in Attitude to Corruption: Evidence From List Experiment

Abstract A high level of corruption usually constrains economic development in emerging countries. However, anti-corruption campaigns often fail because the relevant policies need to be implemented

The Political Economy of Bureaucratic Overload: Evidence from Rural Development Officials in India

Government programs often fail on the ground because of poor implementation by local bureaucrats. Prominent explanations for poor implementation emphasize bureaucratic rent-seeking and capture. This

Deepening Decentralization in Zambia: Political Economy Constraints and Opportunities for Reform

Since the early 2000s, decentralization has been espoused as a major policy goal of successive Zambian governments. With the passing of the 2019 Local Government Act, a greater understanding is

Political Corruption Cycles: High-Frequency Evidence from Argentina’s Notebooks Scandal

Exploiting daily records documenting how an organization of high-level bureaucrats in Argentina collected bribes and delivered them to party leaders from 2009 to 2015, I detect with unprecedented

(Un)principled principals, (un)principled agents: The differential effects of managerial civil service reforms on corruption in developing and OECD countries

Do management practices have similar anti-corruption e ects in OECD and developing countries? Despite prominent cautions against 'New Zealand' reforms which enhance managerial discretion in

Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment

  • S. Brierley
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Politics
  • 2021
When do politicians in developing democracies prioritize meritocratic recruitment over patronage hiring for public sector jobs? I distinguish between low- and high-skilled positions and argue that



Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Development: Evidence from India

When do politicians prompt bureaucrats to provide effective services? Leveraging the uneven overlap of jurisdictions in India, we compare bureaucrats supervised by a single political principal with

Careers, Connections, and Corruption Risks: Investigating the Impact of Bureaucratic Meritocracy on Public Procurement Processes

Why do officials in some countries favor entrenched contractors, while others assign public contracts more impartially? This article emphasizes the important interplay between politics and

Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes

This paper examines the extent to which access to information enhances political accountability. Based upon the results of Brazil’s recent anti-corruption program that randomly audits municipal

The Political Economy of Unfinished Development Projects: Corruption, Clientelism, or Collective Choice?

Development projects like schools and latrines are popular with politicians and voters alike, yet many developing countries are littered with half-finished projects that were abandoned

Greater Expectations: A Field Experiment to Improve Accountability in Mali

I argue that if citizens systematically underestimate what their government can and should do for them, then they will hold politicians to a lower standard and sanction poor performers less often. A

Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments

Political institutions can affect corruption. We use audit reports from an anti-corruption program in Brazil to construct new measures of political corruption in local governments and test whether

Merit, Tenure, and Bureaucratic Behavior: Evidence From a Conjoint Experiment in the Dominican Republic

Bureaucratic behavior in developing countries remains poorly understood. Why do some public servants—yet not others—work hard to deliver public services, misuse state resources, and/or participate in

Electoral Connections: The Effects of the Personal Vote on Political Patronage, Bureaucracy and Legislation in Postwar Italy

  • M. Golden
  • Political Science
    British Journal of Political Science
  • 2003
This article examines the relationship between the legislature and the public administration in postwar Italy (understood as the period from about 1948 through 1994). Italian public administration is

Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment

  • S. Brierley
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Politics
  • 2021
When do politicians in developing democracies prioritize meritocratic recruitment over patronage hiring for public sector jobs? I distinguish between low- and high-skilled positions and argue that

Traveling Agents: Political Change and Bureaucratic Turnover in India

Abstract We develop a framework to empirically examine how politicians with electoral pressures control bureaucrats with career concerns and the consequent implications for bureaucrats' career