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This paper explores the link between the effort level to strengthen institutional quality and the nature of the fiscal policy game among interdependent economies plagued by corruption. Every country has a lower incentive to improve public governance when the effort made abroad to remedy institutional deficiencies becomes weaker. More importantly, the model highlights a possible trade-off between fighting corruption in interrelated developing countries and promoting fiscal policy coordination among them: cooperation goes together with the acceptance of more corruption. It follows that poor-institution traps can be Pareto-improving.
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