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Corruption: The Role of Culture, Religion, Wealth and Governance

Posted: 12 Mar 2009  

Marinilka Barros Kimbro

Seattle University - Albers School of Business and Economics; Seattle University

Date Written: January 16, 2009


Drawing on macro and micro-economic theory, this paper expands the literature by examining the role of culture, values, religion, wealth, rule of law, governance and accounting on corruption. Using a panel of 75 countries, I find evidence that countries with Civil German law have better control of corruption and better governance, than countries with Civil French and Common Law legal traditions. I also find that the relationship of individualism and corruption is mediated by the positive effect of GNI suggesting that economically and institutionally mature countries with high levels of individualism tend to have higher corruption than countries with intermediate levels of individualism, indicating a non-monotonic, non-linear relationship between individualism, wealth and corruption. Even though there is evidence that Protestant countries are less corrupt than Catholic and Muslim countries, I find that this association is mediated by the level of institutional and regulatory development. Specifically, an efficient rule of law, moderate growth rates, as well as better governance & accounting is directly associated with countries that have controlled corruption, suggesting a causal relationship.

Keywords: Corruption, culture, religion, legal origin, governance, accounting, individualism

JEL Classification: M41, O11, O57, Z10

Suggested Citation

Kimbro, Marinilka Barros, Corruption: The Role of Culture, Religion, Wealth and Governance (January 16, 2009). Available at SSRN:

Marinilka Barros Kimbro (Contact Author)

Seattle University - Albers School of Business and Economics ( email )

901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
United States

Seattle University ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

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