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The Impact of Corruption, Economic Freedom and Urbanization on Economic Development: Western Balkans versus EU-27

Nerajda Feruni (), Eglantina Hysa (), Mirela Panait (), Irina Gabriela Rădulescu () and Alina Brezoi ()
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Nerajda Feruni: Department of Economics, Epoka University, 1032 Tirana, Albania
Irina Gabriela Rădulescu: Department of Business Administration, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiești, 100680 Ploiești, Romania
Alina Brezoi: Department of Business Administration, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiești, 100680 Ploiești, Romania

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 22, 1-22

Abstract: The topic of economic development has been addressed in recent decades from more and more points of view in order to identify the factors with significant impact on this phenomenon. Identifying the factors and measuring their impact on economic development are essential starting points for adopting the necessary public policies. Similar types of research for the Western Balkan countries and comparative analyses between the Western Balkans and the European Union countries are limited in number. Hence, the main purpose of this paper is to empirically test the impact of corruption, economic freedom, and urbanization on the economic development for both the Western Balkan countries and the EU countries for the period 2009–2018 to provide a comparative analysis for these two groups. The corruption perception index, economic freedom index, and urban population growth are chosen as independent variables, whereas the dependent variable of the human development index (HDI) represents economic development. Using the Random Effects model, which falls under the Panel Generalized Least Square method, the empirical analysis suggests that corruption has a negative impact on economic development, while economic freedom and urbanization have a positive impact on the economic development for both groups of countries. However, the impact of corruption is more destructive in the Western Balkans, and they appear to benefit more from economic freedom and urbanization as compared to the EU countries. Whether the impact of the chosen independent variables is restricted to any component of the HDI in particular is left open for further studies in the future, though the results of this paper are highly significant and in accordance with the reviewed literature.

Keywords: economic development; corruption; economic freedom; urbanization; random effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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