Corruption in the United States and Canada

  • Barney WarfEmail author
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 125)


The United States and Canada, by international comparison, are relatively low in their levels of corruption. In 2017, the U.S. ranked 17th in Transparency International’s global corruption index, while Canada was eighth.


  1. Alt, J., & Lassen, D. (2003). The political economy of institutions and corruption in American states. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 15(3), 341–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen, T., Bentzen, J., Dalgaard, C.-J., & Selaya, P. (2011). Does the internet reduce corruption? Evidence from U.S. states and across countries. World Bank Economic Review, 25(3), 387–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Apergis, N., Dincer, O., & Payne, J. (2010). The relationship between corruption and income inequality in U.S. states: Evidence from a panel cointegration and error correction model. Public Choice, 145(1/2), 125–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Apergis, N., Dincer, O., & Payne, J. (2012). Live free or bribe: On the causal dynamics between economic freedom and corruption in U.S. states. European Journal of Political Economy, 28(2), 215–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atkinson, M. (2011). Discrepancies in perceptions of corruption, or why is Canada so corrupt? Political Science Quarterly, 126(3), 445–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bronskill, J. (2014, May 20). RCMP study finds 322 incidents of corruption within force during 11-year period. Ottawa Citizen.
  7. Burke, B., Bookbinder, N., & Eisen, N. (2017). Presidential obstruction of justice: The case of Donald J. Trump. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.
  8. Campante, F., & Do, Q. (2014). Isolated capital cities, accountability, and corruption: Evidence from US states. American Economic Review, 104(8), 2456–2481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coll, S. (2017, August 10). The Trump administration rolls back anti-corruption efforts in the oil industry. New Yorker.
  10. Cordis, A., & Warren, P. (2014). Sunshine as disinfectant: The effect of state Freedom of Information Act laws on public corruption. Journal of Public Economics, 115, 18–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Depken, C., & Lafountain, C. (2006). Fiscal consequences of public corruption: Empirical evidence from state bond ratings. Public Choice, 126(1–2), 75–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dincer, O. (2008). Ethnic and religious diversity and corruption. Economics Letters, 99(1), 98–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dodd, B. (1991). Peapatch politics: The Earl long era in Louisiana politics. Baton Rouge: Claitor’s Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. Escaleras, M., Calcagno, P., & Shughart, W. (2012). Corruption and voter participation: Evidence from the US states. Public Finance Review, 40(6), 789–815.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fang, L. (2014, March 10–17). Where have all the lobbyists gone? The Nation.
  16. Fisman, R., & Gatti, R. (2002). Decentralization and corruption: Evidence from U.S. federal transfer programs. Public Choice, 113(1–2), 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Genovese, M., & Farrar-Myers, V. (2010). Corruption and American politics. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gibbens, K., & Rowat, D. (1976). Political corruption in Canada: Cases, causes, and cures. Toronto: McClellan and Stewart.Google Scholar
  19. Gilens, M., & Page, B. (2014). Testing theories of American politics: Elites, interest groups, and average citizens. Perspectives on Politics, 12(3), 564–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Glaeser, E., & Goldin, C. (Eds.). (2006). Corruption and reform: Lessons from America’s economic history. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  21. Glaeser, E., & Saks, R. (2006). Corruption in America. Journal of Public Economics, 90(6), 1053–1073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Global Anti-Corruption Blog. (2018, May 2). Tracking corruption and conflicts in the Trump administration.
  23. Goel, R., & Nelson, M. (1998). Corruption and government size: A disaggregated analysis. Public Choice, 97(1–2), 107–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Golway, T. (2014). Machine made: Tammany hall and the creation of modern American politics. Liveright: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  25. Grossman, M. (2008). Political corruption in America: An encyclopedia of scandals, power, and greed. Millerton, NY: Grey House Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Harding, L. (2017). Collusion: How Russia helped Trump win the White House. London: Guardian Faber Publishing.Google Scholar
  27. Johnston, N., LaFountain, C., & Yamarik, S. (2011). Corruption is bad for growth (even in the United States). Public Choice, 147, 377–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kornbluh, P., & Byrne, M. (1993). The Iran-Contra scandal: A declassified history. New York: New Press.Google Scholar
  29. Krueger, A. (1974). The political economy of the rent-seeking society. American Economic Review, 64(3), 291–303.Google Scholar
  30. Liu, C., & Mikesell, J. (2014). The impact of public officials’ corruption on the size and allocation of U.S. state spending. Public Administration Review, 74(3), 346–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McCartney, L. (2008). The teapot dome scandal: How big oil bought the harding White House and tried to steal the country. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  32. Meier, K., & Holbrook, T. (1992). ‘I seen my opportunities and I took ’em:’ Political corruption in the United States. Journal of Politics, 54, 135–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Murrin, J. (1994). Escaping perfidious Albion: Federalism, fear of corruption, and democratization of corruption in postrevolutionary America. In R. Mathews (Ed.), Virtue, corruption, and self-interest: Political values in the eighteenth century (pp. 103–147). Lehigh, PA: Lehigh University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Nelson, J. (2014, June 11). Canada not immune from corruption, E&Y study finds. Globe and Mail.
  35. Nice, D. (1983). Political corruption in the American states. American Politics Research, 11(4), 507–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Patriquin, M. (2010, September 24). Quebec: The most corrupt province. Macleans.
  37. Rotberg, R., & Carment, D. (Eds.). (2018). Canada’s corruption at home and abroad. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Strauss, D. (1994). Corruption, equality, and campaign finance reform. Columbia Law Review, 30, 679.Google Scholar
  39. Sullivan, K. (1997). Political money and freedom of speech. University of California Davis Law Review, 30, 679.Google Scholar
  40. Sutherland, S. (2001). “Biggest scandal in Canadian history”: HRDC audit starts probity war (Queen’s University School of Policy Studies Working Paper No. 23).
  41. Teachout, Z. (2014). Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s snuff box to citizens united. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Tencer, D. (2012, February 24). Canada mining corruption: Survey finds Canadian provinces seen as riskier than parts of Africa. Huffington Post Canada.
  43. Underkuffler, L. (2013). Captured by evil: The idea of corruption in law. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Wallis, J. (2006). The concept of systematic corruption in American history. In E. Glaeser & C. Goldin (Eds.), Corruption and reform: Lessons from America’s economic history (pp. 23–62). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Williams, R. (2003). Political corruption in the United States. In M. Bull & J. Newell (Eds.), Corruption in contemporary politics (pp. 66–78). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Williamson, K. (2015, March 23). Texas has a corruption problem. National Review.
  47. Wilson, J. (1966). Corruption: The shame of the states. Public Interest, 2, 28–38.Google Scholar
  48. Winters, J., & Page, B. (2009). Oligarchy in the United States? Perspectives on Politics, 7(4), 731–751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yglesias, M. (2018, March 1). Trump’s corruption deserves to be a central issue in the 2018 midterms. Vox.
  50. Zibel, A. (2018, January 18). Presidency for sale: 64 trade groups, companies, candidates, foreign governments and political groups spending money at Trump’s properties. PublicCitizen.
  51. Zuckert, C. (2018). Trump as a Machiavellian prince? Reflections on corruption and American constitutionalism. In M. Sable & A. Torres (Eds.), Trump and political philosophy (pp. 73–87). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KansasLawrenceUSA

Personalised recommendations