Corruption, Democracy, and Privately Financed Infrastructure

Anthony M. Bertelli, Valentina Mele, Eleanor Florence Woodhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Do political institutions moderate the influence of corruption on privately financed infrastructure projects? We argue that electoral competition incentivizes politicians to monitor bureaucratic corruption and focus on the public benefits of projects. Without such incentives, corruption is not monitored and the private benefits of bribes and favorable contract terms are responsible for increasing numbers of projects. Studying 116 countries between 1984 and 2012, we find that as public-sector corruption increases in democracies, no change in the number of projects is observed, while more projects emerge in non-democracies as corruption worsens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdministration and Society
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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