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Instability and the Incentives for Corruption

Author

Listed:
  • Davin Chor
  • Filipe Campante

    (Center for International Development at Harvard University)

  • Quoc-Anh Do

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between corruption and political stability, understood as the likelihood of the incumbent being able to implement his preferred policies over time. We propose a model driven by two effects: The horizon effect, according to which more instability leads the incumbent to be more corrupt during his short window of opportunity; and the demand effect, by which the private sector is more willing to bribe more stable incumbents. The former effect dominates for low values of stability, since firms are unwilling to pay high bribes, but the latter effect prevails in highly stable regimes. This U-shaped pattern is confirmed by the cross-country evidence as well as several case studies: Countries or political regimes with very high or very low levels of stability display higher corruption, when compared to those in an intermediate range of stability. We also find evidence that corruption is U-shaped with respect to the size of government, confirming one of the corollaries of our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Davin Chor & Filipe Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2005. "Instability and the Incentives for Corruption," CID Working Papers 6, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cid:wpfacu:6
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Political Stability; Size of Government;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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