On the Link Between Government Ideology and Corruption in the Public Sector

Zohal Hessami (University of Konstanz)

Abstract: This paper studies whether corruption in the public sector is more likely to prevail when right-wing parties are in power, which is a question that has so far not been investigated in the existing literature. The underlying theoretical link between government ideology and corruption relies on the observation that politicians of right-wing parties maintain closer ties to representatives of the private sector in conjunction with the fact that corruption is more likely to occur in a long-term relationship characterized by mutual trust and reciprocity. The empirical analysis for 106 countries over the 1984 – 2008 period provides robust evidence in favor of this hypothesis. The empirical results additionally suggest that this effect is weaker in democratic countries and in countries with a free press, an independent judiciary, and a high share of women in parliament.

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