Press Freedom, Human Capital and Corruption
In this paper we investigate the relationship between corruption, human capital, and the monitoring capacities of civil society, as proxied for example by press freedom and an independent judicial system. In a theoretical model we find the impact of education on corruption to depend on the capacities of civil society to oversee government officials. If those capacities are well developed, education decreases corruption, whereas it may lead to higher corruption if civil monitoring is low. We find empirical evidence to support this result for secondary and higher education. Furthermore we investigate the direct relation between corruption and press freedom. We find no evidence that corruption negatively affects press freedom. We find, however, strong empirical evidence that a lack of press freedom leads to higher levels of corruption. This implies that strengthening press freedom should be among the priorities in the fight against corruption.
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