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Corruption and trust in political institutions in sub-Saharan Africa

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Author Info

  • Emmanuelle Lavallée

    ()
    (DIAL, Paris)

  • Mireille Razafindrakoto

    ()
    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • François Roubaud

    ()
    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

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    Abstract

    (english) This paper analyzes the impact of corruption on the extent of trust in political institutions using a rich collection of comparable data provided by the Afrobarometer surveys conducted in 18 sub-Saharan African countries. More specifically, we set out to test the “efficient grease” hypothesis that corruption can strengthen citizens’ trust since bribe paying and clientelism open the door to otherwise scarce and inaccessible services and subsidies, and that this increases institutional trust. Our findings reject this theoretical argument. We show that corruption never produces trust-enhancing effects regardless of the evaluation of public service quality. The results reveal how perceived and experienced corruption impact negatively, but differently, on citizens’ trust in political institutions. The adverse effect of perceived corruption decreases with the fall in public service quality, whereas the negative effect of experienced corruption decreases as public service quality increases. _________________________________ (français) Cet article explore les interactions entre la confiance institutionnelle et la corruption à partir d’un riche corpus d’enquêtes-ménages comparables : les enquêtes Afrobaromètre réalisées dans 18 pays d’Afrique sub-saharienne. Plus précisément, il teste les théories de l’ « huile dans les rouages » selon lesquelles la corruption peut renforcer la confiance des citoyens en leur permettant d’accéder à des services publics autrement inaccessibles. Nos résultats infirment clairement ces théories. Nous montrons que la corruption réduit clairement la confiance et ce quelque soit la qualité des services gouvernementaux. Ils suggèrent toutefois que l’expérience et la perception de la corruption ont des effets distincts sur la confiance institutionnelle.

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    File URL: http://www.dial.ird.fr/media/ird-sites-d-unites-de-recherche/dial/documents/publications/doc_travail/2008/2008-07
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2008/07.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200807

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    Related research

    Keywords: Corruption; Institutions.;

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    Cited by:
    1. Razafindrakoto, Mireille & Roubaud, François, 2010. "Are International Databases on Corruption Reliable? A Comparison of Expert Opinion Surveys and Household Surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1057-1069, August.

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