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A study on the relationship between corruption and government size: the role of democracy

  • Kotera, Go
  • Okada, Keisuke
  • Samreth, Sovannroeun

Previous studies on the effect of government size on corruption have produced mixed results. For the purpose of explaining these ambiguous results, our study investigates the effect of government size on corruption by taking into account the role of democracy level in each country. Using annual data from 82 countries from 1995 to 2008, the estimation results indicate that an increase in government size can lead to a decrease in corruption if democracy level is sufficiently high and, in contrast, can lead to an increase in corruption if it is too low. As a robustness check, estimations using a different index of corruption and a different proxy for government size are also conducted. The results show that our main results are robust. Furthermore, to deal with endogeneity problems, we conduct an instrumental variable estimation, the results of which support our main results. These findings provide some important implications for policymakers seeking to conduct government intervention without aggravating corruption.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/25015/1/MPRA_paper_25015.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25015.

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Date of creation: 15 Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25015
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  1. Shelton, Cameron A., 2007. "The size and composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2230-2260, December.
  2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Saks, Raven E., 2006. "Corruption in America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1053-1072, August.
  3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1998. "The size and scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians," Seminar Papers 658, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  6. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Saha, Shrabani & Gounder, Rukmani & Su, Jen-Je, 2009. "The interaction effect of economic freedom and democracy on corruption: A panel cross-country analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 173-176, November.
  8. Danila Serra, 2006. "Empirical determinants of corruption: A sensitivity analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 225-256, January.
  9. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
  10. Billger, Sherrilyn M. & Goel, Rajeev K., 2009. "Do existing corruption levels matter in controlling corruption?: Cross-country quantile regression estimates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 299-305, November.
  11. Rajkumar, Andrew Sunil & Swaroop, Vinaya, 2008. "Public spending and outcomes: Does governance matter?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 96-111, April.
  12. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  13. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Acemoglu, D. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," DELTA Working Papers 97-06, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  15. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  16. Del Monte, Alfredo & Papagni, Erasmo, 2007. "The determinants of corruption in Italy: Regional panel data analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 379-396, June.
  17. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Cameron A. Shelton, 2007. "The Size and Composition of Government Expenditure," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2007-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
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