The Causes of corruption: a cross-national study

Author(s) : Treisman, Daniel

Imprint : 2000

Collation :

p. 399-457

Series : Journal of Public Economics, 76, 3

Why is corruption - defined here as the misuse of public office for private gain - perceived to be more widespread in some countries than others? Different theories associate cross-national variation in the extent of corruption with particular historical and cultural traditions, levels of economic development, political institutions, and government policies. This article analyses which of various plausible determinants are significantly related to several indexes of "perceived corruption" compiled from business risk surveys for the early-1980s and mid-1990s. It finds support for six arguments. Countries with Protestant traditions, histories of British rule, more developed economies, and (probably) those with high exposure to imports were rated less "corrupt". Federal states were more "corrupt" than unitary ones. While the current degree of democracy was not significant, long exposure to democracy was associated with lower corruption.

  • Anti-corruption strategies, Legal framework, Corruption, Diagnostic tools / surveys, Economic and social development, Educational management, Governance