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Public Sector Corruption and Trust in the Private Sector

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  • Gillanders, Robert
  • Neselevska, Olga

Abstract

In this paper we use data from the Afrobarometer surveys to demonstrate that there is an undesirable spill-over from petty corruption in the public sector to trust in private sector institutions. Our results show that experiencing bribery in the course of one’s interactions with the public sector lowers one’s trust in big private corporations, small businesses, and local traders. This finding holds even when we allow for perceptions of political corruption to enter the specification. We do not find any significant association between a measure of interpersonal trust and bribery experience which suggests that our findings with regards to market institutions are not driven by corruption lowering trust in general. Having to pay a bribe for household services, which is perhaps the setting most like a private sector transaction, is the corrupt interaction most strongly associated with the decline in private sector trust. We find some evidence that the spill-over is larger in democracies than in non-democratic regimes. Given the importance of trust in market institutions for the efficient functioning of an economy, our findings thus point to a previously unknown and potentially substantial cost of corruption and add to the case for anti-corruption efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Gillanders, Robert & Neselevska, Olga, 2016. "Public Sector Corruption and Trust in the Private Sector," MPRA Paper 71020, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:71020
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    1. Pier Luigi Marchini & Tatiana Mazza & Alice Medioli, 2020. "Corruption and sustainable development: The impact on income shifting in European international groups," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(2), pages 717-730, March.
    2. Ritwik Banerjee & Amadou Boly & Robert Gillanders, 2022. "Is corruption distasteful or just another cost of doing business?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 190(1), pages 33-51, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bribery; corruption; corruption experiences; corruption perceptions; private sector trust; sub-Saharan Africa; trust;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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