The Right Coast

November 03, 2004
Corruption in America
By Mike Rappaport

That is the name of a paper by two Harvard Economists, who claim that corruption is largely combatted by education. Here is the abstract of their paper:

We use a data set of federal corruption convictions in the U.S.
to investigate the causes and consequences of corruption. More
educated states, and to a less degree richer states, have less
corruption. This relationship holds even when we use historical
factors like education in 1928 or Congregationalism in 1890, as
instruments for the level of schooling today. The level of
corruption is weakly correlated with the level of income
inequality and racial fractionalization, and uncorrelated with
the size of government. There is a weak negative relationship
between corruption and employment and income growth. These
results echo the cross-country findings, and support the view
that the correlation between development and good political
outcomes occurs because more education improves political