HOOVER ESSAY IN PUBLIC POLICY: Judicial Corruption in Developing Countries: Its Causes and Economic Consequences by Edgardo Buscaglia

Friday, July 23, 1999

Many third-world countries are burdened with first-class levels of judicial corruption. Hoover Institution research fellow Edgardo Buscaglia analyzes this problem and suggests solutions to it in a new Essay in Public Policy.

In Judicial Corruption in Developing Countries: Its Causes and Economic Consequences, Buscaglia recognizes that the wealth of information available on systematic corruption has not resulted in an identification of specific causes of corruption within the public sector in general and the judiciary in particular.

Buscaglia's essay proposes a framework that will describe and evaluate corrupt activities in third-world judicial systems. He writes that the malfeasance must be studied based on a scientific method rather than by guesswork or intuition, and he proposes legal, economic and organizational factors to explain judicial corruption.

Furthermore, Buscaglia writes that any economic theory of corruption should acknowledge its detrimental effect to public sector reforms, and he identifies the private costs and benefits of judicial reforms.

Edgardo Buscaglia is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the University of Virginia Law School. He is also the president of the Inter American Law and Economics Association, and a legal and economic senior advisor to several international organizations in Washington, D.C. and Europe. His current research focuses on the institutional causes of public sector corruption, intellectual property rights in developing countries, the economic impact of the judicial sector, and the factors affecting legal and economic integration in developing countries.

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