IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Inequality and Corruption: Evidence from US States

  • James E. Alt

    (Department of Government, Harvard University)

  • David Dreyer Lassen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

High-quality data on state-level inequality and incomes, panel data on corruption convictions, and careful attention to the consequences of including or excluding fixed effects in the panel specification allow us to estimate the impact of income considerations on the decision to undertake corrupt acts. Following efficiency wage arguments, for a given institutional environment the corruptible employee’s or official’s decision to engage in corruption is affected by relative wages and expected tenure in the public sector, the probability of detection, the cost of fines and jail terms, and the degree of inequality, which indicate diminished prospects facing those convicted of corruption. In US states over 25 years we show that inequality and higher government relative wages significantly and robustly produce less corruption. This reverses other findings of a positive association between inequality and corruption, which we show arises from long-run joint causation by unobserved factors.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/eprn_epru/Workings_Papers/wp-08-02.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 08-02.

as
in new window

Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:08-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: Øster Farimagsgade 5, Building 26, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., Denmark
Phone: (+45) 3532 4411
Fax: +45 35 32 30 00
Web page: http://www.econ.ku.dk/epru/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido & Trebbi, Francesco, 2001. "Electoral Rules and Corruption," CEPR Discussion Papers 2741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Tugrul Gurgur & Anwar Shah, 2008. "Localization and corruption: panacea or pandora's box?," CEMA Working Papers 581, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  3. Christopher J. Ellis & Oguzhan C. Dincer & Glenn R. Waddell, 2005. "Corruption, Decentralization and Yardstick Competition," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-5, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jan 2006.
  4. Craig Depken & Courtney Lafountain, 2006. "Fiscal consequences of public corruption: Empirical evidence from state bond ratings," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 75-85, January.
  5. Richard T. Boylan, 2005. "What Do Prosecutors Maximize? Evidence from the Careers of U.S. Attorneys," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 379-402.
  6. Edward F. Blackburne III & Mark W. Frank, 2007. "Estimation of nonstationary heterogeneous panels," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(2), pages 197-208, June.
  7. Mark W. Frank, 2009. "Inequality And Growth In The United States: Evidence From A New State-Level Panel Of Income Inequality Measures," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 55-68, 01.
  8. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-59, January.
  9. Glaeser, Edward L. & Saks, Raven E., 2006. "Corruption in America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1053-1072, August.
  10. Goel, Rajeev K & Nelson, Michael A, 1998. " Corruption and Government Size: A Disaggregated Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 107-20, October.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2006. "Corruption and Reform: Introduction," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 2-22 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:08-02. 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: (Thomas Hoffmann)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.