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Can bribery buy health? Evidence from post-communist countries

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  • Mavisakalyan, Astghik
  • Otrachshenko, Vladimir
  • Popova, Olga

Abstract

Corruption is pervasive, but we know little about its effects on individual lives. This paper examines whether living in a corrupt society has deleterious effects on health. Using individual-level data from 28 post-communist countries, we demonstrate that bribing for public services worsens self-assessed health. Unlike other studies, we account for endogeneity of bribery and show that bribing for any type of public service, not just for health services, has an adverse impact. We also find that bribery lowers the quality of services received. Moreover, there are potentially high indirect costs of bribery since, as we show, it comes at the expense of cutting food consumption. These findings suggest that corruption is a potentially important source behind the poor health outcomes in many developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Popova, Olga, 2019. "Can bribery buy health? Evidence from post-communist countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 432, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:432
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    Keywords

    Bribery; Corruption; Health; Post-Communist Countries;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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