The Eye and the Whip: Corruption Control in the Americas

September 27, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Paul Lagunes, PhD

Dr. Lagunes' new book The Eye & the Whip: Corruption Control in the Americas (Oxford University Press) argues that corruption vulnerabilities exist where government officials have power over the provision of goods and the imposition of costs. Corruption vulnerabilities turn to actual threats when officials calculate that the benefits of abusing their power are greater than the penalties associated with getting caught. By a similar logic, the formula for corruption control requires increasing the probability of detecting deviations from officially sanctioned roles through enhanced monitoring (what he refers to as the eye), and then applying the appropriate penalty in response to wrongdoing (the whip). However, across Latin America, the common policy response to corruption often emphasizes only the first of the two mechanisms. In the book he analyzes the results of three field experiments on corruption control conducted in the City of Queretaro in Central Mexico, urban and peri-urban districts in Peru, and New York City.

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jprather@duke.edu
684-6054

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