Mass Evaluations of the Problem of Political Corruption: A Comparative Study

23 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 16 Aug 2011

See all articles by Eric D. Raile

Eric D. Raile

North Dakota State University

Date Written: 2011


Large numbers of people in many countries see political corruption as a serious problem – an attitude that serves as an obstacle to effective governance, among other negative repercussions. The current study examines the sources of mass perceptions about corruption with the aims of assessing the extent of perception-based measurement problems and of potentially identifying ways to facilitate more effective governance. The analysis shows alignment between aggregate measures and mass perceptions of corruption, with such correspondence increasing and with more positive perceptions over time. Though not directly supporting the hypothesis of clientelism, certain results suggest a role for self-interest. Experiences with bribery also have little bearing on problem perceptions. Instead, this study finds robust association between corruption perceptions and subjective evaluations of macro conditions, certain coping strategies for dealing with uncertainty and insecurity, and affect toward government. Additionally, the impact of transparency on individual-level evaluations of corruption changes over time.

Keywords: Political corruption, corruption perceptions, mass evaluations

Suggested Citation

Raile, Eric D., Mass Evaluations of the Problem of Political Corruption: A Comparative Study (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Eric D. Raile (Contact Author)

North Dakota State University ( email )

Fargo, ND 58105
United States

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