Badly Designed Institutions, Informal Rules and Perverse Incentives: Local Government Corruption in Spain

  • Fernando Jimenez University of Murcia
  • Manuel Villoria University King Juan Carlos
  • Monica Garcia-Quesada Catholic University Louvain


This paper analyses the problem of corruption in the local government in Spain, where despite a complex and sophisticated set of local rules to ensure due process in town planning and urban development, a great number of corruption incidents have come to light. The explanation of this outcome rests in the combined effect of factors such as the bad design of both integrity rules and town planning policies, the relevance of informal institutions such as the patronage networks, and the existence of perverse incentives. The Spanish case highlights the important influence of local informal institutions for the actual working of formal ones.

Author Biographies

Fernando Jimenez, University of Murcia
Professor, Department of Political Science.
Manuel Villoria, University King Juan Carlos
Professor, Department of Public Law and Political Science
Monica Garcia-Quesada, Catholic University Louvain
Visiting professor.