Causes of Corruption: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 19, No 4 (2016)

17 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2016

See all articles by Joseph Ato Forson

Joseph Ato Forson

University of Education, Winneba

Theresa Baah-Ennumh

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Ponlapat Buracom

National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA)

Guojin Chen

Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE)

Zhen Peng

Guangdong University of Technology - School of Management

Date Written: August 25, 2016

Abstract

This study explores the causes of corruption in 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa from 1996 to 2013. The sources of corruption are grouped into three main thematic areas – historical roots, contemporary causes and institutional causes to make way for subjective and objective measures. The subjective measures allow for assessment of the effectiveness of anticorruption policies. Using pooled OLS, fixed-effect and instrumental-variable approaches, and focusing on the perceived level of corruption as the dependent variable, we find that ethnic diversity, resource abundance and educational attainment are markedly less associated with corruption. In contrast, wage levels of bureaucrats and anticorruption measures based on government effectiveness and regulatory quality breed substantial corruption. Press freedom is found to be variedly associated with corruption. On the basis of these findings, we recommend that the fight against corruption on the continent needs to be reinvented through qualitative and assertive institutional reforms. Anticorruption policy decisions should focus on existing educational systems as a conduit for intensifying awareness of the devastating effect of corruption on sustainable national development.

Keywords: Corruption, Sustainable Development (SD), Institutional Quality, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Governance

JEL Classification: C0, I38, K4

Suggested Citation

Forson, Joseph Ato and Baah-Ennumh, Theresa and Buracom, Ponlapat and Chen, Guojin and Peng, Zhen, Causes of Corruption: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa (August 25, 2016). South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 19, No 4 (2016), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2875795 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2875795

Joseph Ato Forson (Contact Author)

University of Education, Winneba ( email )

P.O. Box 25
Winneba, Central Region +233
Ghana

HOME PAGE: http://www.uew.edu.gh

Theresa Baah-Ennumh

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana ( email )

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law
Kumasi, AK Ashanti Region +233
Ghana

Ponlapat Buracom

National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) ( email )

118 Seri Thai Road
Bangkok, 10240
Thailand

Guojin Chen

Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE) ( email )

A 307, Economics Building
Xiamen, Fujian 361005
China

Zhen Peng

Guangdong University of Technology - School of Management ( email )

Guangzhou, 510520
China

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