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Corruption and Openness

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  • Neeman, Zvika
  • Paserman, M. Daniele
  • Simhon, Avi

Abstract

We consider a neoclassical growth model with endogenous corruption. Corruption and wealth, which are co-determined in equilibrium, are shown to be negatively correlated. Richer countries tend to be less corrupt, and corrupt economies tend to be poorer. This observation gives rise to the following puzzle: if poorer countries do indeed experience higher levels of corruption, and if indeed as suggested by a number of empirical studies corruption hampers growth, then how did rich countries, who were poor once, become rich? Our answer is simple. In the past, economies were mostly ‘closed’ in the sense that it was difficult to transfer illicit money outside of the economy. In contrast, today’s economies are mostly open. In the relatively closed economies of the 19th century, the gains from corruption remained inside the country and became part of the economy’s productive capital. In contrast, in today’s open economies, corrupt agents smuggle stolen money abroad depleting their country’s stock of capital. We confirm this intuitive explanation by testing the hypothesis that the effect of corruption on wealth depends on the economy’s degree of openness using cross-country data.

Suggested Citation

  • Neeman, Zvika & Paserman, M. Daniele & Simhon, Avi, 2003. "Corruption and Openness," CEPR Discussion Papers 4057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4057
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    Cited by:

    1. Boyle, Glenn, 2009. "Capital Market Integration: A Review of the Issues and an Assessment of New Zealand's Position," Working Paper Series 4034, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Akcigit, Ufuk & Cagé, Julia & Kerr, William R., 2016. "Taxation, corruption, and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 24-51.
    3. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Suryadipta Roy, 2011. "Political economy determinants of non-agricultural trade policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 89-104.
    4. Blackburn, Keith & Forgues-Puccio, Gonzalo F., 2009. "Why is corruption less harmful in some countries than in others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 797-810, December.
    5. Philip Shaw & Marina‐Selini Katsaiti & Marius Jurgilas, 2011. "Corruption And Growth Under Weak Identification," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 264-275, January.
    6. George Economides & Sarantis Kalyvitis & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2008. "Does foreign aid distort incentives and hurt growth? Theory and evidence from 75 aid-recipient countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 463-488, March.
    7. Blackburn, Keith & Forgues-Puccio, Gonzalo F., 2010. "Financial liberalization, bureaucratic corruption and economic development," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1321-1339, November.
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    15. Andrew van Hulten & Michael Webber, 2010. "Do developing countries need 'good' institutions and policies and deep financial markets to benefit from capital account liberalization?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 283-319, March.
    16. Aida Isabel Tavares, 2004. "The socio-cultural and political-economic causes of corruption: a cross-country analysis," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 19, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption; growth; openness;

    JEL classification:

    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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