Individualism and Corruption: A Cross-Country Analysis
Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy (2017), 36: 60–74. DOI: 10.1111/1759-3441.12163
Posted: 14 Mar 2017
Date Written: 2017
While the role of cultural norms in determining corruption is well-explored in the empirical literature, the relationship between a specific aspect of culture, that is, individualism versus collectivism, and corruption is rather unexplored. This paper investigates the relationship between individualism/collectivism and corruption in a large cross-section of countries. To establish causality, the paper uses an index of historical prevalence of infectious diseases and a measure of genetic distance between the population in a country from that in the United States to instrument the individualism/collectivism variable. We find that more individualistic countries have lower levels of corruption (perception). This relationship is robust to the inclusion of a rich set of control variables and to the use of alternative measures of corruption.
Keywords: corruption, culture, individualism, collectivism
JEL Classification: D03, D73, Z10, O10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation