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Corruption, Seigniorage and Growth: Theory and Evidence


  • Keith Blackburn
  • Kyriakos C. Neanidis
  • M. Emranul Haque


This paper presents an analysis of the effect of bureaucratic corruption on economic growth through a public finance transmission channel. At the theoretical level, we develop a simple dynamic general equilibrium model in which financial intermediaries make portfolio decisions on behalf of agents, and bureaucrats collect tax revenues on behalf of the government. Corruption takes the form of the embezzlement of public funds, the effect of which is to increase the government’s reliance on seigniorage finance. This leads to an increase in inflation which, in turn, reduces capital accumulation and growth. At the empirical level, we use data on 82 countries over a 20-year period to test the predictions of our model. Taking proper account of the government’s budget constraint, we find strong evidence to support these predictions under different estimation strategies. Our results are robust to a wide range of sensitivity tests.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Blackburn & Kyriakos C. Neanidis & M. Emranul Haque, 2008. "Corruption, Seigniorage and Growth: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2354, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2354

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice Asongu & Oasis Kodila-Tedika, 2016. "Fighting African conflicts and crimes: which governance tools matter?," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 43(5), pages 466-485, May.
    2. Carsten Hefeker, 2010. "Taxation, corruption and the exchange rate regime," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 338-346, March.
    3. Dimakou, Ourania, 2015. "Bureaucratic corruption and the dynamic interaction between monetary and fiscal policy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 57-78.
    4. Ugur, Mehmet & Dasgupta, Nandini, 2011. "Corruption and economic growth: A meta-analysis of the evidence on low-income countries and beyond," MPRA Paper 31226, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 May 2011.
    5. Asongu, Simplice A. & Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2013. "Crime and conflicts in Africa: consequences of corruption?," European Economic Letters, European Economics Letters Group, vol. 2(2), pages 50-55.
    6. Mehmet Ugur, 2014. "Corruption'S Direct Effects On Per-Capita Income Growth: A Meta-Analysis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 472-490, July.
    7. Ehrhart, Hélène & Minea, Alexandru & Villieu, Patrick, 2014. "Debt, seigniorage, and the Growth Laffer Curve in developing countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 199-210.
    8. Dimakou, Ourania, 2013. "Monetary and fiscal institutional designs," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1141-1166.
    9. Katherina Popkova, 2011. "Can the exchange rate regime influence corruption?," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 148-11, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    10. Simplice A Asongu, 2015. "A Good Turn Deserves Another: Political Stability, Corruption and Corruption-Control," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2037-2048.
    11. Yener Altunbas & John Thornton, 2010. "Does Paying Taxes Improve the Quality of Governance? Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 10006, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    12. repec:bap:journl:170201 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kodila Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Consequences De La Corruption : Panorama Empirique
      [Consequences of Corruption : Empirical survey]
      ," MPRA Paper 41482, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    corruption; seigniorage; inflation; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O42 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Monetary Growth Models


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