via the brilliant Joseph Cordes, we have from Governing “What Corrupt States Spend Their Money On.” it is a summary of a study published in PAR from John Mikesell at IU and Cheol Liu of the University of Hong Kong. Infrastructure in my title is a bit of a misnomer: it’s highways. My favorite story along these lines included a privatization deal a few years back involving the Louisiana governor and his sons in law. Anyway, there are secondary consequences of the leakage:
The shakedown culture can also be a deterrent to economic development, with developers who are attempting to play fair getting disenchanted by pay-to-play politics, he added. After all, there’s little incentive to spend time and money on a bid when the winning bidder has already bought political favor. Public confidence in government is also a hidden – and immeasurable – cost of corruption, added Sergio Acosta, a corporate attorney who was the former federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Illinois.
“Illinois officials have taken a real hit in this state as a result of that,” he said.