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Family Ties and Corruption

Litina, Anastasia and Varvarigos, Dimitrios (2020): Family Ties and Corruption.

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Abstract

We study the relation between conjugal family ties and corruption. Our theoretical model shows that the population share of people who have a desire to retain close ties with their families (i.e., the extensive margin) has an ambiguous effect on the level of corruption, due to the presence of conflicting mechanisms. However, the strength of this desire among people who want to retain close ties with their families (i.e., the intensive margin) has an unambiguously negative effect on corruption. The latter outcome finds support from our empirical analysis: Using micro-level data, we show that, in contrast to conventional wisdom and cross-country reflections, stronger family ties are negatively correlated with a broad set of activities that measure corruption.

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