A Theory of Limits on Corruption and Some Applications

KYKLOS, Vol. 48 - 1995 - Fasc. 3, 419-435

17 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2015

Date Written: April 2, 2015


Starting from a simple premise, this paper has proposed a framework that is at once capable of explaining variations in levels of corruption across governments, their subunits, and over time.The simple premise is that corruption nearly always creates winners and losers who may take countervailing actions (CA) to reduce or eliminate their losses. The incentives to engage in CA depend on two sets of factors: global and specific. Global factors, such as human rights, property rights, political rights, capital, property rights, education, income levels and income distribution have across-the-board effects on the ability to engage in CA; variations in levels of corruption across countries and over time can be explained in terms of these factors. Specific factors, such as the type of corruption, number of losers, the size of their losses, and visibility of losses to losers, may vary across government agencies within the same country and, therefore, can explain different levels of corruption across these agencies.

Keywords: Corruption, countervailing actions, income, education, rights, police, human rights, political rights, income distribution, post office, monopoly, protests, bribes, bribery, banks, losers, winners, transparency

JEL Classification: H19, H79, H80, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Alam, Mohammad Shahid, A Theory of Limits on Corruption and Some Applications (April 2, 2015). KYKLOS, Vol. 48 - 1995 - Fasc. 3, 419-435, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2589159

Mohammad Shahid Alam (Contact Author)

Northeastern University ( email )

220 B RP
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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