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The mental health cost of corruption: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Robert Gillanders

This paper examines the effect that experiencing corruption has on an individual’s mental health using microeconomic data from the Afrobarometer surveys. The results show a statistically significant and economically meaningful effect in both binary and ordered probit models using both an experience of corruption index and a simple binary variable. Having to pay a bribe to obtain documents and permits, to avoid problems with the police or to access medical care emerge as the arenas in which corruption can have a damaging effect on mental health. Some evidence is presented that an individual needs to experience such corruption more than ‘once or twice’ for this effect to become evident.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3680
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201126.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201126
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  1. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "Money and Mental Wellbeing: A Longitudinal Study of Medium-Sized Lottery Wins," IZA Discussion Papers 2233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  3. Amina Ebrahim & Ferdi Botha & Jen Snowball, 2013. "Determinants of life satisfaction among race groups in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 168-185, June.
  4. Omar Azfar & Tugrul Gurgur, 2008. "Does corruption affect health outcomes in the Philippines?," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 197-244, July.
  5. Heflin, Colleen M. & Siefert, Kristine & Williams, David R., 2005. "Food insufficiency and women's mental health: Findings from a 3-year panel of welfare recipients," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(9), pages 1971-1982, November.
  6. Kerry Pedigo & Verena Marshall, 2009. "Bribery: Australian Managers’ Experiences and Responses When Operating in International Markets," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 59-74, June.
  7. Gambetti, Elisa & Giusberti, Fiorella, 2012. "The effect of anger and anxiety traits on investment decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1059-1069.
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