The empirical literature on corruption has grown exponentially, mainly due to improvements in measurement. The research has focused on survey-based measures of corruption perceptions; expert informed measures; government official behaviour; and even behaviour of the public. Improvements in the measurement of such clandestine activity have led to deeper understanding of the effects of corruption. The “Culture of Corruption” hypothesis states that a prescriptive social norm exists which promotes “abstinence from corruption” in some contexts but not in others. In this paper I explore this relationship. I examine the culture-corruption hypothesis by first reviewing papers that unpack the relationship between culture and corruption, by examining the empirical literature that establishes the linkage between corruption perceptions and corrupt behaviour and asking whether this behaviour is particular to public officials or is prevalent in the wider population. I ask whether perceptions of corruption impact selection, whether corruption can increase or decrease over time, and what is the role of pecuniary incentives in attracting workers with the “right” preferences. I conclude with some reflections on areas for future research and some open questions.
|Title of host publication||The Political Economy of Corruption|
|Editors||Chandan Kumar Jha, Ajit Mishra, Sudipta Sarangi|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Publication status||Published - 4 May 2023|