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Sociology Research


Dr Mihály Fazekas has been pioneering the use of ‘Big Data’ for social sciences research, especially for measuring and analysing corruption and administrative quality across Europe. He uses mixed research methods while working in interdisciplinary teams of IT specialists, practitioners, and social scientists in order to collect, structure, and clean large administrative datasets generated by governments. One of his primary areas of work is public procurement and high-level corruption.

Research Interests

Corruption, Quality of Government, Bureaucracy, Institutional Economics, Economic Sociology, Political Sociology, Comparative Political Economy, Data Mining.

Research Projects

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Fazekas, M., Lukács, P. A., and Tóth, I. J. (2015). The Political Economy of Grand Corruption in Public Procurement in the Construction Sector of Hungary. In A. Mungiu-Pippidi (Ed.), Government Favouritism in Europe The Anticorruption Report 3 (pp. 53–68). Berlin: Barbara Budrich Publishers.

Fazekas, M., Chvalkovska, J., Skuhrovec, J., Tóth, I. J., and King, L. P. (2014). Are EU funds a corruption risk? The impact of EU funds on grand corruption in Central and Eastern Europe. In A. Mungiu-Pippidi (Ed.), Controlling Corruption in Europe vol. 2 (pp. 68–89). Berlin: Barbara Budrich Publishers. 

Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J., & King, L. P. (2013). Hidden Depths. The Case of Hungary. In A. Mungiu-Pippidi (Ed.), Controlling Corruption in Europe vol. 1 (pp. 74–82). Berlin: Barbara Budrich Publishers. 

Fazekas, M. and Tóth, B. (Forthcoming: ​2016) Infrastructure for whom? Corruption risks in infrastructure provision across Europe. in Hammerschmid, G., Kostka G., and Wegrich K., (eds.), Governance Report 2016, Oxford University Press.

Fazekas, Mihály, & Tóth, István János, (2017), Corruption in EU Funds? Europe-wide evidence on the corruption effect of EU-funded public contracting. In J. Bachtler et al (Eds.), EU Cohesion Policy. Reassessing performance and direction. pp. 186-205, Routledge, London.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Fazekas, M. and Tóth, B. (2018) The extent and cost of corruption in transport infrastructure. New evidence from Europe. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 113, pp. 35-54

Charron, N., Dahlström, C., Fazekas, M., and Lapuente, V. (2017), Careers, Connections and Corruption Risks In Europe. Journal of Politics, 79(1), 89–104.

Fazekas, M., andCingolani, L., (2017), Breaking the cycle? How (not) to use political finance regulations to counter public procurement corruption. Slavonic & East European Review, 95(1), 76-116.

Fazekas, M., (2017), Red tape, bribery and government favouritism: evidence from Europe. Crime, Law, and Social Change

Azarova, A, D Irdam; A Gugushvili; M Fazekas; G Scheiring; P Horvat; D Stefler; I Kolesnikova; V Popov; D Stuckler; I Szelenyi; M Marmot; M Murphy; M McKee; M B and L King. 2017. “The effect of rapid privatisation on mortality in mono-industrial towns in post-Soviet Russia: a retrospective cohort study”, The Lancet Public Health, 2(5): e231-e238

Fazekas, M., Tóth, I. J., and King, L. P. (2016). Anatomy of grand corruption: A composite corruption risk index based on objective data. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research (in press) 

Key Publications - Other

Charron, N., Dahlström, C., Fazekas, M., and Lapuente, V. (2015), Careers, Connections and Corruption Risks In Europe. Working Paper Series 2015:6, QOG – The Quality of Government Institute, Gothenburg. 

Fazekas, M. (2014). The Use of ‘Big Data’ for Social Sciences Research: An Application to Corruption Research. SAGE Research Methods Cases, see here.

Fazekas, M. and T Burns (2012). Exploring the complex interaction between governance and knowledge. Synthesis of the literature. OECD Education Working Papers, No. 67, OECD Publishing, Paris. 

Fazekas, M. (2012). School Funding Formulas. Review of main characteristics and impacts. OECD Education Working Papers, No. 6747, OECD Publishing, Paris

Grants and Projects

Fazekas, M., ANTICORRP: “Anticorruption policies revisited. Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption” EU FP7 financed large-scale research project, 2012-2017, associate researcher with project partner Budapest Corvinus University. Budget: 10 395 386 EUR. 

King, L. (PI), Fazekas, M., and Toth, B.: “The Digital Whistleblower. Fiscal Transparency, Risk Assessment and Impact of Good Governance Policies Assessed” Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme, European Commission. 2015-2017. €3,026,360.

Fazekas, M., Curbing corruption in development aid-funded procurement, British Academy and UK's Department for International Development funded research project, 2016-2017, co-investigator. Budget: 398 275 GBP

Additional Information

Mentioned in the following Media Articles:

-Rigging the Bids. The Economist on 19/11/16
-Why is Poland’s Law and Justice Party trying to rein in the judiciary? Washington Post on 26/07/17
-Central European University Has Become The Battleground In Hungary’s War Of Ideas. Huffington Post on 04/06/17

Mentioned in the following Policy Reports:

-Competition and Markets Authority: Report on bid-rigging algorithms. The use of public sector procurement information to identify bid-rigging in public procurement markets.
-OECD/Sigma: Methodology for Measuring the Principles of Public Administration
-OECD: Preventing Policy Capture

Mentioned in the following policy-relevant presentations:

-G20 Seminar on Corruption and Economic Growth, Paris, October 2016
-International Anti-Corruption Conference, Panama, December 2016
-Public Procurement Corruption and Investment into Europe's Future, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg, March 2017
-EU Anti-Corruption Experience-Sharing Programme. Using Indicators to Inform Policy and Measure Progress on Anti- Corruption. European Commission, Brussels, March 2017

Job Title:
Research Associate