, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 240-250

Corruption in transition economies: Effects of government size, country size and economic reforms

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This paper uses annual pooled data over 1998–2002 for transition countries to examine whether government size or country size matters more in its impact on corruption; and whether piecemeal reforms or comprehensive transition reforms are desirable for corruption reduction. Our results show that greater economic prosperity leads to lower corruption, and contrary to findings for other nations, a bigger government size seems toreduce corruption in transition nations. The geographic size of a country is positive and significant, suggesting that more spread out countries would have a harder time controlling corruption. Comprehensive transition reforms might work best at corruption reduction.

A version of this paper was presented at the Sixth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting of the Mediterranean Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, Montecatini Terme, March 2005. Comments of participants at the Mediterranean meetings, especially Utku Teksoz, and two anonymous referees are appreciated. Insightful comments by Prof. Vojmir Franicevic on an earlier version and research assistance of Richard Connelly are also appreciated. Remaining errors are our own.