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Live free or bribe: On the causal dynamics between economic freedom and corruption in U.S. states

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  • Apergis, Nicholas
  • Dincer, Oguzhan C.
  • Payne, James E.

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between economic freedom and corruption using data from U.S. states covering almost a quarter of a century. Our study advances the existing literature on several fronts. First, instead of using subjective cross-country corruption indices assembled by various investment risk services, we use a more objective measure of corruption: the number of government officials convicted in a state for crimes related to corruption. Second, unlike previous studies, we exploit both time series and cross-sectional variation in the data in the estimation of a panel error correction model. The panel error correction model results show that in the long-run economic freedom, per capita income, and education have a negative and statistically significant impact on corruption whereas income inequality has a positive and statistically significant impact. The causality tests associated with the panel error correction model reveal bidirectional causality between economic freedom and corruption in both the short-run and long-run.

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  • Apergis, Nicholas & Dincer, Oguzhan C. & Payne, James E., 2012. "Live free or bribe: On the causal dynamics between economic freedom and corruption in U.S. states," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 215-226.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:2:p:215-226
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2011.10.001
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    2. Larissa Batrancea & Anca Nichita & Ioan Batrancea & Lucian Gaban, 2018. "The Strenght of the Relationship Between Shadow Economy and Corruption: Evidence from a Worldwide Country-Sample," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 1119-1143, August.
    3. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2015. "Does economic freedom really kill? On the association between ‘Neoliberal’ policies and homicide rates," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 207-219.
    4. Filippidis, Michail & Tzouvanas, Panagiotis & Chatziantoniou, Ioannis, 2021. "Energy poverty through the lens of the energy-environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    5. Gropper, Daniel M. & Jahera, John S. & Park, Jung Chul, 2015. "Political power, economic freedom and Congress: Effects on bank performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 76-92.
    6. Joshua C. Hall & Dean Stansel & Danko Tarabar, 2015. "Economic Freedom Studies at the State Level: A Survey," Working Papers 15-07, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    7. Pieroni, L. & d'Agostino, G., 2013. "Corruption and the effects of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 54-72.
    8. Compton, Ryan A. & Giedeman, Daniel C. & Hoover, Gary A., 2014. "A distributional analysis of the benefits of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 121-133.
    9. Diaby, Aboubacar & Sylwester, Kevin, 2014. "Bureaucratic competition and public corruption: Evidence from transition countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 75-87.
    10. Berggren, Niclas & Nilsson, Therese, 2016. "Tolerance in the United States: Does economic freedom transform racial, religious, political and sexual attitudes?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 53-70.
    11. Claudio Detotto & Bryan C. McCannon, 2017. "Economic freedom and public, non-market institutions: evidence from criminal prosecution," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 107-128, May.
    12. Nguyen Ngoc Thach & Bui Hoang Ngoc, 2021. "Impact of Economic Freedom on Corruption Revisited in ASEAN Countries: A Bayesian Hierarchical Mixed-Effects Analysis," Economies, MDPI, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, January.
    13. Zakharov, Nikita, 2019. "Does corruption hinder investment? Evidence from Russian regions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 39-61.
    14. Adam A. Millsap & Bradley K. Hobbs & Dean Stansel, 2019. "Local Governments and Economic Freedom: A Test of the Leviathan Hypothesis," Public Finance Review, , vol. 47(3), pages 493-529, May.
    15. Dincer, Oguzhan & Gunalp, Burak, 2020. "The effects of federal regulations on corruption in U.S. States," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic freedom; Corruption; Panel error correction model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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