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The case for human development: a cross-country analysis of corruption perceptions

Peyton, Kyle and Belasen, Ariel (2010): The case for human development: a cross-country analysis of corruption perceptions.

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Abstract

Economic studies have demonstrated, both empirically and theoretically, that higher levels of human development (HD) and economic freedom (EF) are associated with lower levels of perceived corruption. This study separately examines the impact of human development and economic freedom on perceived levels of corruption across more than one hundred countries using a novel approach that greatly reduces multicollinear bias in the model. The results from this study confirm that both HD and EF are significant predictors of corruption perception levels. Furthermore, an increase in either HD or EF corresponds to a reduction in corruption perception. When evaluated separately, however, increases in human development are shown to correspond to greater reductions in corruption perception than economic freedom. This is demonstrated with an OLS regression using data collected from a single year and a number of panel estimates that utilize data from multiple years.

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