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Corruption and Social Capital




I examine the causal relation between social capital and corruption. A simple model illustrates potential mechanisms and yields testable implications, which I estimate in a sample of European countries. The estimated effect of social capital on corruption is found to be robust to the inclusion of a number of other variables and supplementing the sample with slightly older data from non-European countries. The evidence of the reverse causal direction is weak. I suggest that it is possible to build social capital through investing in education, interest in society and some level of income redistribution, which in turn reduces corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian, Bjørnskov, 2003. "Corruption and Social Capital," Working Papers 03-13, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2003_013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Geys, Benny & Heinemann, Friedrich & Kalb, Alexander, 2010. "Voter involvement, fiscal autonomy and public sector efficiency: Evidence from German municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 265-278, June.
    2. Hilde Coffé, 2009. "Social Capital and Community Heterogeneity," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 91(2), pages 155-170, April.
    3. Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 1-33, October.
    4. Anneli Kaasa & Eve Parts, 2007. "Individual-Level Determinants Of Social Capital In Europe: Differences Between Country Groups," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 56, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    5. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Fürth, Sven, 2015. "Household repayment behavior: The role of social capital and institutional, political, and religious beliefs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 249-265.

    More about this item


    Corruption; Illegal behavior; Rent-seeking; Social capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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