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Corruption, institutions, and economic development

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  • Toke S. Aidt

Abstract

Many scholarly articles on corruption give the impression that the world is populated by two types of people: the 'sanders' and the 'greasers'. The 'sanders' believe that corruption is an obstacle to development, while the 'greasers' believe that corruption can (in some cases) foster development. This paper takes a critical look at these positions. It concludes that the evidence supporting the 'greasing the wheels hypothesis' is very weak and shows that there is no correlation between a new measure of managers' actual experience with corruption and GDP growth. Instead, the paper uncovers a strong negative correlation between growth in genuine wealth per capita --a direct measure of sustainable development--and corruption. While corruption may have little average effect on the growth rate of GDP per capita , it is a likely source of unsustainable development. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Toke S. Aidt, 2009. "Corruption, institutions, and economic development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 271-291, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:25:y:2009:i:2:p:271-291
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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