Publications

  • Measuring Corrupt Rent Extraction by Tracking the Misuse of Corporate Vehicles

    In recent years, the abuse of diverse corporate networks for extracting corrupt rents and channelling them to opaque destinations have come to the forefront of international anticorruption efforts. This was marked by the UK anti-corruption summit’s focus on beneficial ownership which built on initiatives against opaque companies by OECD or FATF to name a few. […]

  • Corrupt Contracting: Partisan Favouritism in Public Procurement. Hungary and the United Kingdom compared

    For politicians seeking to use a clientelist approach to achieve political and private gain, i.e., to prolong their hold on power and maximize personal profit, control of government contracting is a key tool. We theorise that politicians wishing to exploit government contracting for such ends will seek to increase their influence over three stages of […]

  • Corruption in EU Funds? Europe-wide evidence on the corruption effect of EU funded public contracting

    It is theoretically ambiguous and empirically contested whether EU Funds contribute to lower corruption and better governance or the opposite. Many recipient countries benefit to a substantial degree with allocations amounting to 2-4% of their annual GDP. A range of positive and negative cases has been uncovered by the European Commission, national governments and the […]

  • An Objective Corruption Risk Index Using Public Procurement Data

    In order to address the lack of reliable indicators of corruption, this article develops a composite indicator of high-level institutionalised corruption through a novel ‘Big Data’ approach. Using publicly available electronic public procurement records in Hungary, we identify “red flags” in the public procurement process and link them to restricted competition and recurrent contract award […]

  • 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 bureaucracy. It suggests that corruption risks are lower when bureaucrats’ careers do not depend on political connections but on their peers. We test this hypothesis with a novel measure of […]

  • A comprehensive review of objective corruption proxies in public procurement: risky actors, transactions, and vehicles of rent extraction

    Corruption is ostensibly difficult to measure, especially when it is unclear which form of corruption is captured, which part of the corrupt deal is visible in the data, and how different proxies relate to each other. Due to the emergence of innovations in measuring corruption in public procurement, this paper can provide a comprehensive review of quantitative corruption proxies, […]

  • Breaking the cycle? How (not) to use political finance regulations to counter public procurement corruption

    There are widespread perceptions and countless documented cases of tight-knit networks of politicians and businessmen colluding for allocating public procurement contracts in return for political party donations. In the absence of systematic evidence, neither the magnitude of the problem nor the effectiveness of policies curbing such corruption is well-understood. In order to advance our understanding […]

  • Raw data

    This is a DIGIWHIST project deliverable with the main goal of obtaining unstructured and semi-structured data from a pool of 100+ potentially relevant datasources where further data processing is assessed to be plausible. In order to determine the right strategy for data scraping, this also requires analysis of the architecture and structure of online data […]

  • Web data knowledge extraction

    A constantly growing amount of information is available through the web. Unfortunately, extracting useful content from this massive amount of data still remains an open issue. The lack of standard data models and structures forces developers to create adhoc solutions from the scratch. The figure of the expert is still needed in many situations where developers do not have […]

  • The Political Economy of Grand Corruption in Public Procurement in the Construction Sector of Hungary

    Private sector companies develop a diverse set of political connections in high and low corruption countries alike. Using political connections to gain advantage when competing for government contracts is a major form of corruption from Denmark to Italy. Recognizing the difficulty of controlling this type of ‘grand’ corruption this chapter sets out to explore the […]