Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1077293
 
 

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What Have We Learned about the Causes of Corruption from Ten Years of Cross-National Empirical Research


Daniel Treisman


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science


Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 10, June 2007

Abstract:     
I review recent efforts by political scientists and economists to explain cross-national variation in corruption using subjective ratings, and examine the robustness of reported findings. Quite strong evidence suggests that highly developed, long-established liberal democracies, with a free and widely read press, a high share of women in government, and a history of openness to trade, are perceived as less corrupt. Countries that depend on fuel exports or have intrusive business regulations and unpredictable inflation are judged more corrupt. Although the causal direction is usually unclear, instrumenting with income as of 1700 suggests higher development does cause lower perceived corruption. However, controlling for income, most factors that predict perceived corruption do not correlate with recently available measures of actual corruption experiences (based on surveys of business people and citizens that ask whether they have been expected to pay bribes recently). Reported corruption experiences correlate with lower development, and possibly with dependence on fuel exports, lower trade openness, and more intrusive regulations. The subjective data may reflect opinion rather than experience, and future research could usefully focus on experience-based indicators.

Keywords: governance, bribery, democracy, surveys

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: December 19, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Treisman, Daniel, What Have We Learned about the Causes of Corruption from Ten Years of Cross-National Empirical Research. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 10, June 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1077293

Contact Information

Daniel Treisman (Contact Author)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science ( email )
405 Hilgard Ave.
3265 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472
United States
650-725-8556 (Phone)
650-723-1687 (Fax)
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