Administrative Processes as an Anti-Corruption Tool? A View from Public Employees in the Baltic States

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Abstract

Many studies have documented the negative effect of corruption on development, economic growth, and democracy. Independent anti-corruption agencies are often recommended as the tool to curb corruption. However, their efficiency depends on the political will to allocate authority, powers, and resources. Moreover, setting up new institutions is always costly and accordingly problematic to low and middle income countries. The present study suggests that public administration processes in their own right are a tool to combat corruption. The article uses a survey with responses from 1706 public employees in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Using OLS regression, the study confirms others findings that strengthening meritocracy is an important factor in curbing corruption. It adds to this that enhancing monitoring is a factor just as effective against corruption as meritocracy. It adds attention to the reverse effect associated with hierarchical organizations, norms accepting rule bending, and network decisions. Finally, addressing salaries’ and performance payment’s impact on corruption the study finds no relation.

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