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

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  • Robert Gillanders

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Gillanders, 2011. "The mental health cost of corruption: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201126, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201126
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3680
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    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. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Money and mental wellbeing: A longitudinal study of medium-sized lottery wins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-60, January.
    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. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2006.097154_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Gillanders, 2014. "Corruption and Infrastructure at the Country and Regional Level," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(6), pages 803-819, June.
    2. Iddisah Sulemana, 2015. "An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Ghana," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 1299-1321, October.
    3. van Deurzen, Ioana, 2017. "And justice for all: Examining corruption as a contextual source of mental illness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 26-34.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mental Health; Corruption; Well-Being; Sub-Saharan Africa; Mental health--Africa; Sub-Saharan; Corruption--Psychological aspects--Africa; Sub-Saharan; Well-being--Africa; Sub-Saharan;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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