Corruption and Openness

33 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2003

See all articles by Zvika Neeman

Zvika Neeman

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Boston University - Department of Economics

M. Daniele Paserman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Avi Simhon

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2003

Abstract

We consider a neoclassical growth model with endogenous corruption. Corruption and wealth, which are co-determined in equilibrium, are shown to be negatively correlated. Richer countries tend to be less corrupt, and corrupt economies tend to be poorer. This observation gives rise to the following puzzle: if poorer countries do indeed experience higher levels of corruption, and if indeed as suggested by a number of empirical studies corruption hampers growth, then how did rich countries, who were poor once, become rich? Our answer is simple. In the past, economies were mostly 'closed' in the sense that it was difficult to transfer illicit money outside of the economy. In contrast, today's economies are mostly open. In the relatively closed economies of the 19th century, the gains from corruption remained inside the country and became part of the economy's productive capital. In contrast, in today's open economies, corrupt agents smuggle stolen money abroad depleting their country's stock of capital. We confirm this intuitive explanation by testing the hypothesis that the effect of corruption on wealth depends on the economy's degree of openness using cross-country data.

Keywords: Corruption, growth, openness

JEL Classification: F20, H00, O10, O40

Suggested Citation

Neeman, Zvika and Paserman, M. Daniele and Simhon, Avi, Corruption and Openness (September 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=466320

Zvika Neeman

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://www.tau.ac.il/~zvika/

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-3184 (Phone)
617-353-4449 (Fax)

M. Daniele Paserman (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3365 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Avi Simhon

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem 91905, Jerusalem 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3237 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

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