Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History (National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report)
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Contributors to this volume address the measurement and consequences of fraud and corruption and the forces that ultimately led to their decline within the United States. They show that various approaches to reducing corruption have met with success, such as deregulation, particularly “free banking,” in the 1830s. In the 1930s, corruption was kept in check when new federal bureaucracies replaced local administrations in doling out relief. Another deterrent to corruption was the independent press, which kept a watchful eye over government and business. These and other facets of American history analyzed in this volume make it indispensable as background for anyone interested in corruption today.
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engineers to become more pronounced.26 Although other factors, such as the originally unscheduled cessation of construction between 1842 and 1847, certainly played an important role in accounting for cost overruns, the findings of the investigators suggest that poor governance (encompassing acceptance of incompetence or ineﬃciency), if not an increased prevalence of outright fraud, help to explain why the costs of enlarging and improving the Erie Canal ballooned from the initial projection of
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administration to possess adequate supply for the entire city) was revived. Additional costs of supplementing Spot Pond water with Mystic Pond water reportedly made Long Pond the most appealing source in light of Boston’s continued rapid population growth. The two commissioners who originally constituted a majority in favoring Spot Pond had now changed their minds; Long Pond was now the unanimous choice recommended by a new commission report. After considerable wrangling in the legislature and a