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Social Media, Internet and Corruption

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In this paper we study the relationship between multi-way means of communication and corruption. Unlike traditional platforms like TV or print media, which only provide a one-way channel of communication, the internet and social media platforms provide for two-way flow of information. Using Facebook as a proxy for social media, we show that Facebook penetration and corruption are negatively associated. The same holds for internet penetration. We then exploit variations in cross-country technological adoption in the field of communication in 1500 AD to address endogeneity concerns. We show that internet penetration and Facebook penetration have a causal and negative impact on corruption. Our results also suggest that these effects are sizable making them effective tools against corruption.

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File URL: http://bus.lsu.edu/McMillin/Working_Papers/pap14_03.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2014-03.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2014-03
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6306

Fax: 225-578-3807
Web page: http://www.business.lsu.edu/economics
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  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.
  2. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  3. Saleh, Nivien, 2012. "Egypt’s digital activism and the Dictator’s Dilemma: An evaluation," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 476-483.
  4. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  5. Cassandra E DiRienzo & Jayoti Das & Kathryn T Cort & John Burbridge, 2007. "Corruption and the role of information," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(2), pages 320-332, March.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
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