Corruption, Judicial Accountability and Inequality: Unfair Procedures May Benefit the Worst-Off

48 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2020

See all articles by Niclas Berggren

Niclas Berggren

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); University of Economics, Prague - Faculty of Economics and Public Administration

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: December 16, 2019

Abstract

We ask whether, as many seem to think, corruption worsens, and judicial accountability improves, inequality, and investigate this empirically using data from 145 countries 1960–2014. We relate perceived corruption and de facto judicial accountability to gross-income inequality and consumption inequality. The study shows that corruption is negatively, and that judicial accountability is positively, related to both types of inequality. The estimates are particularly pronounced in democracies and arguably causal, as we find that the full effect only occurs after institutional stability has been established; The findings suggest that “unfair procedures” – corruption and deviations from judicial accountability – may benefit the economically worst off and worsen the situation of the economic elite.

Keywords: Corruption, inequality, institutions, accountability, rent-seeking

JEL Classification: C31, D02, D31, D72, D73, E26

Suggested Citation

Berggren, Niclas and Bjørnskov, Christian, Corruption, Judicial Accountability and Inequality: Unfair Procedures May Benefit the Worst-Off (December 16, 2019). IFN Working Paper No. 1311. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3504490

Niclas Berggren (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/nb

University of Economics, Prague - Faculty of Economics and Public Administration ( email )

nám. W. Churchilla 4
Praha, 130 67
Czech Republic

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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