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Analyzing Corruption at the Micro-Level: a Cross-Country Perspective

Student: Ravil Ismagilov

Supervisor: Aleksey Y. Oshchepkov

Faculty: Faculty of Economic Sciences

Educational Programme: Applied Economics (Master)

Final Grade: 7

Year of Graduation: 2017

Scholars traditionally analyze determinants of corruption at the macro-level, trying to answer the question why in some countries corruption level is higher than in others. Last years, however, there has been a rising interest in the analysis of corruption at the micro-level. Since the level of corruption in the country is an outcome of individual behaviors, the understanding of the issue who is more inclined to participate in or approve corruption is of its own importance. The main goal of this paper is to show that, nevertheless, when doing analysis of corruption at the micro level, it is impossible to abstract from what is happening at the macro-level. Analyzing individual attitudes towards corruption in the Life in Transition Survey data of 2010, we show that many standard results obtained at the micro level - for example, that women, as well as older and more educated individuals, stronger condemn corruption - depend on the country’s context. We find that the significance and even the direction of the links between individual’s socio-demographic characteristics and their attitudes towards corruption varies greatly across countries. We assume that the important variable that creates this variation is the level of corruption in the country. As expected, the level of corruption positively affects the overall degree of corruption approval in the country, but this influence appears to be different in strength for different socio-demographic groups.

Full text (added May 15, 2017)

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