The transition of corruption institutions and dynamics

Martin Paldam*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The paper analyzes the strong but complex relation between corruption and development. The corruption/honesty index is explained by three variables measuring aspects of development: Income, Polity and Fraser (for Economic Freedom). The last two indices represent the political and the economic system. Two problems arise: (i) Development is a common factor in all four variables, giving the variables strong confluence, so it is difficult to sort out the contribution of each explanatory variable. However, kernel regressions on the corruption/income scatter give a well-defined long-run transition path, which permits an identification of the specific contributions of institutions to corruption. (ii) The correlation of corruption to the first difference of the three development variables is negative. This gives a substantial lag in the corruption/income relation in the form of wide J-curves, but the main direction of causality is still from development to corruption. High income and modern institutions cause low corruption after some time. The corruption/development-relation is a fuzzy but strong long-run connection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101952
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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