Measuring Illegal and Legal Corruption in American States: Some Results from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Corruption in America Survey

41 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2015 Last revised: 15 May 2015

See all articles by Oguzhan C. Dincer

Oguzhan C. Dincer

Illinois State University - Department of Economics; Illinois State University-Institute for Corruption Studies

Michael Johnston

Colgate University - Political Science Department; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: March 16, 2015

Abstract

Using data from the "Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Corruption in America Survey", we construct indices measuring two specific forms of corruption across American states: illegal and legal. We define illegal corruption as the private gains in the form of cash or gifts by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups, and legal corruption as the political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups, be it by explicit or implicit understanding. We then put our indices to work and investigate why some states are more corrupt than the others. In addition to demographic and economic variables we also investigate how political participation effects corruption depending on how well it is covered by the media. Our results suggest that we have a lot to learn about the politics of corruption control.

Keywords: Illegal corruption, legal Corruption, American states, institutional corruption

Suggested Citation

Dincer, Oguzhan C. and Johnston, Michael, Measuring Illegal and Legal Corruption in American States: Some Results from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Corruption in America Survey (March 16, 2015). Edmond J. Safra Working Papers, No. 58, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2579300 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2579300

Oguzhan C. Dincer (Contact Author)

Illinois State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Illinois State University-Institute for Corruption Studies ( email )

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Michael Johnston

Colgate University - Political Science Department ( email )

United States

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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