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What Determines Corruption? International Evidence from Micro Data

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  • Naci Mocan

Abstract

This paper utilizes a micro-level data set from 49 countries to address three issues: What determines corruption at the individual level? What determines the perception of the extent of corruption in the country? Does corruption have a direct impact on growth when the quality of the institutions are controlled for? In addition, the paper creates a direct measure of corruption which portrays the extent of corruption as revealed byindividuals who live in those countries. The results show that both personal and country characteristics determine the risk of exposure to bribery. Examples are gender, wealth, education, marital status, the city size, the legal origin of the country, the existence of uninterrupted democracy, a war between 1960s and 1980s, and the strength of the institutions in the country (measured by the risk of expropriation). The second part of the paper shows that controlling for endogeneity of corruption and institutional quality, actual corruption in the country and the proportion of the bribes asked by various government agencies have no direct impact on corruption perception. On the other hand, an improvement in the quality of institutions lowers the perception of corruption. The final section of the paper shows that controlling for the quality of the institutions, corruption does not have a direct impact on growth. Keeping constant the geographical location of the country, the legal origin, religious composition, the presence of a war, the federal status, initial education and income as well as the extent of corruption in the country, a one-half standard deviation increase in the quality of institutions (e.g. from the level of Indonesia to the level of India), generates an additional 0.7 percentage point increase in the average annual per capita GDP growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10460.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Publication status: published as Naci Mocan, 2008. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence From Microdata," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 493-510, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10460

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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Yunyong Thaicharoen, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," NBER Working Papers 9124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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  6. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  10. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 307-331, August.
  11. Dollar, David & Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2001. "Are women really the "fairer" sex? Corruption and women in government," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 423-429, December.
  12. Anand Swamy & Stephen Knack & Young Lee & Omar Azfar, 2000. "Gender and Corruption," Center for Development Economics 158, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  13. Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does "Grease Money" Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," NBER Working Papers 7093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  15. Graeff, P. & Mehlkop, G., 2003. "The impact of economic freedom on corruption: different patterns for rich and poor countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 605-620, September.
  16. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
  17. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Who must pay bribes and how much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2486, The World Bank.
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  20. repec:rus:hseeco:72137 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
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