IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Causes of corruption in European countries: history, law, and political stability


  • Ronald MacDonald
  • Muhammad Tariq Majeed


This study asks why corruption is increasing in European countries and what are the most important factors that explain such corruption? Although corruption scandals, speeches and reports indicate that corruption persists in European countries no one has tested the causes of corruption in European countries and this study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to empirically examine the causes of corruption for European countries. Cross-country data for European countries is used to examine the role of legal influences, historical factors and the effect of political stability on corruption. Five key findings are: (1) the effects of the legal strengths on the incidence of corruption are significant with a negative sign - a one-standard-deviation increase in the legal strengths is associated with a decrease in corruption of 0.26 points, 26% of a standard deviation in the corruption index; (2) political stability is a significant determinant of corruption; (3) the interactive effects of history and law are important in reducing corruption levels; (4) the size of government matters in affecting corruption levels; (5) finally, this study shows that an interdisciplinary approach is the most appropriate way to explain corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald MacDonald & Muhammad Tariq Majeed, 2011. "Causes of corruption in European countries: history, law, and political stability," Working Papers 2011_24, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2011_24

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Tariq MAJEED*, 2016. "MIGRANT REMITTANCES AND CORRUPTION: An Empirical Analysis," Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Applied Economics Research Centre, vol. 26(1), pages 15-41.
    2. Karama, Dalal, 2014. "Ease of Doing Business: Emphasis on Corruption and Rule of Law," MPRA Paper 58662, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Timofeyev, Yuriy, 2015. "Analysis of predictors of organizational losses due to occupational corruption," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 630-641.

    More about this item


    History; Law; Political Instability; Corruption; European Countries;

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2011_24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tedi Racheva). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.