Jeunes docteurs et ATER

Photo Harouna Sedgo
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  • Office in Paris Nanterre


  • Research group

      Transitions, Environnement, Énergie, Institutions, Territoires

  • Theme(s)
    • Institutions
    • Afrique

Corruption and leadership in Africa: Evidence from Burkina Faso

Harouna Sedgo

This study assesses the role of a leader in anti-corruption fighting in Africa. It focuses on the rule of Thomas Sankara, one of the legendary figures of contemporary Africa.

Using the synthetic control approach, we design a counterfactual for the actual Burkina Faso called "synthetic Burkina Faso" based on corruption before Sankara's tenure. The difference between Burkina Faso and Synthetic Burkina Faso highlights that the leadership of Thomas Sankara had a substantial effect in reducing corruption in Burkina Faso during his tenure over the period 1983-1987. This reduction effect in 1987 was as much as 70 percent of the 1982 level of corruption in the country. This result is robust to placebo tests.

This finding highlights the leader's importance in shaping African countries' institutional trajectory. To fight corruption, having an exemplary leader is a cure.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Corruption; Leader; Captain Thomas Sankara; Synthetic control approach; Burkina Faso

Corruption and distortion of public expenditures: Evidence from Africa

Luc-Désiré Omgba, Harouna Sedgo

This study investigates the effect of corruption on the trade-off between capital and current expenditures in a panel of 48 African countries over the period 2000-2016.
Based on statistical yearbooks, we compile disaggregated data on public finances for African countries and find that a high prevalence of corruption distorts the composition of public expenditures at the expense of the share of capital expenditure. Specifically, an increase in corruption by one standard deviation is associated with a decrease in the proportion of capital expenditure from 29\% to 16\%. The results are robust to various specifications and estimation methods, including the fixed effects and instrumental variables approach. The supportive argument demonstrates that it seems more beneficial for corrupted bureaucrats to manipulate public spending in favor of current rather than capital expenditures. The latter relies on formal and traceable procedures, whereas current expenditure is known to be more open to the use of discretionary allocation.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Corruption; capital expenditure; current expenditure; public expenditure; Africa
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