Economics of Governance

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 245–263 | Cite as

Causes of corruption: a survey of cross-country analyses and extended results

  • Lorenzo PellegriniEmail author
  • Reyer Gerlagh
Open Access
Original Paper


We survey and assess the empirical literature on the sources of corruption Thanks to the improved availability of data, we are able to produce an improved cross-country econometric model to test well-established and more recent hypotheses jointly. We do not find that the common law system, or a past as a British colony predicts corruption. Our results support cultural theories on the causes of corruption, and suggest that a medium-long exposure to uninterrupted democracy is associated with lower corruption levels, while political instability tends to raise corruption. Our results also suggest that the diffusion of newspapers helps to lower corruption levels.


Corruption Ethnolinguistic fractionalization Democracy Political instability 

JEL Classification

D72 H11 H50 K42 O17 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Social Studies (ISS)The HagueThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.School of Social Sciences, EconomicsUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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