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Corruption and economic activity: Micro level evidence from rural Liberia

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  • Beekman, Gonne
  • Bulte, Erwin H.
  • Nillesen, Eleonora E.M.

Abstract

We study how corruption affects economic activities of households in rural Liberia. A proxy of corruption of community leaders is obtained by directly monitoring the diversion of inputs associated with a development project. We measure quantities of these inputs twice; before and after the chief stored them, and interpret any ‘gaps’ between these measurements as indicative of diversion by the chief (or corruption). We use this ‘gap’ proxy to explain variation in economic behaviour across respondents, and find that corrupt community leaders cause reduced levels of income generating activities that are economically important: corruption leads to a 50% reduction in rice planted and to nearly equally large reductions in trade activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Beekman, Gonne & Bulte, Erwin H. & Nillesen, Eleonora E.M., 2013. "Corruption and economic activity: Micro level evidence from rural Liberia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 70-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:30:y:2013:i:c:p:70-79
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.01.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Dzhumashev Ratbek, 2016. "The Role of Income Uncertainty in the Corruption–Growth Nexus," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1169-1201, April.
    2. Zohal Hessami, 2013. "Corruption, Public Procurement, and the Budget Composition: Theory and Evidence from OECD Countries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-27, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    3. Meriggi, Niccolo F. & Bulte, Erwin, 2015. "Local Governance and Social Capital: Do chiefs matter?," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 206136, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Hessami, Zohal, 2014. "Political corruption, public procurement, and budget composition: Theory and evidence from OECD countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 372-389.
    5. Beekman, Gonne & Bulte, Erwin & Nillesen, Eleonora, 2014. "Corruption, investments and contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence from rural Liberia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 37-47.
    6. Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez & Luis A. Mejia, 2016. "Does corruption affect cooperation? A laboratory experiment," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 25(1), pages 1-19, December.
    7. 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.
    8. d'Agostino, G. & Dunne, J.P. & Pieroni, L., 2016. "Corruption and growth in Africa," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 71-88.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Development project; Agriculture; Investment; Trade;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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