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The Persistent Effect of Colonialism on Corruption

Luis Angeles and Kyriakos Neanidis ()

Economica, 2015, vol. 82, issue 326, 319-349

Abstract: type="main" xml:id="ecca12123-abs-0001">

This paper argues that corruption in developing countries has deep historical roots that go all the way back to their colonial experience. We substantiate our thesis with empirical evidence where the degree of European settlement during colonial times is a powerful explanatory factor of present-day corruption. Interestingly, our mechanism is different from the prevailing view in the literature on institutions and growth, where European settlement has only positive effects. We argue that European settlement leads to higher levels of corruption for all countries where Europeans remained a minority in the population, i.e. for all developing countries.

Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:82:y:2015:i:326:p:319-349