Reint Gropp, Thomas Mosk, Steven Ongena, Ines Simac, Carlo Wix, 14 February 2021

The implementation of supranational regulations at the national level often provides national authorities with substantial room to engage in discretion and forbearance. Using evidence from a supranational increase in bank capital requirements, this column shows that national authorities may assist banks' efforts to inflate their regulatory capital to pass such supranational requirements. While supranational rules should be binding in theory, national discretion may effectively undermine them in practice.

Erica Bosio, Simeon Djankov, Edward Glaeser, Andrei Shleifer, 05 November 2020

Discretion in public procurement allows public officials to pursue socially and economically optimal procurement outcomes, but it also increases the possibility of corruption. This leads to a trade-off between allowing greater discretion and preventing corruption in public procurement. Using survey data on public procurement law and practices from 187 countries in 2019, this column investigates this trade-off. It finds that regulation is helpful when government efficiency is low, and harmful when it is high.

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