Sources of Corruption in Authoritarian Regimes

Author: Chang, Eric C. C.; Golden, Miriam A.

Description: We study the determinants of corruption in a sample of 40-odd authoritarian polities at the turn of the 21st century. Recent studies have proposed several parallel mechanisms potentially relevant for variations in the extent of corruption in authoritarian regimes. We put these various theories into a unified empirical model in order to investigate the wide range of corruption observed in non-democratic political systems. We investigate the importance to variations in corruption in authoritarian countries of the type of group in power, various indicators of rulers’ perceived time horizons, and as control variables, the availability of natural resources, the extent of foreign aid, the level of economic development, and the degree of institutionalized autocracy. Our results indicate that personalistic and personalistic-hybrid regimes are more prone to corruption than single-party and military regimes, and that rulers who expect to remain in power for longer are less corrupt. We also find that the availability of natural resources and higher level of institutionalized autocracy are associated with greater corruption and that wealthier countries experience less corruption.

Subject headings: Corruption; Autocracy; Dictatorship; Political regimes; Political institutions

Publication year: 2009

Journal or book title: SSRN

Issue: 1339972

Pages: 33

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Serial number: 3942