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Democracy, inequality, and corruption : Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines compared

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  • Democracy, inequality, and corruption
  • You, Jong-sung
  • University of California


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Title Democracy, inequality, and corruption
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Sub Title

Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines compared

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

You, Jong-sung

Publisher

San Diego, U.S.:University of California

Date 2011
Series Title; No APSA 2011 annual meeting paper
Pages 28
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < General
Government and Law < Political Development
Holding SSRN

Abstract

Cross-national empirical studies on the effect of democracy on corruption have been inconsistent, with some studies showing a significant effect on controlling corruption and others finding an insignificant effect (Treisman 2000; Montinola and Jackman 2002; Lambsdorff 2005). On the other hand, a cross-national study shows that inequality increases corruption significantly (You and Khagram 2005). I argue that democracy’s effect on corruption varies depending on the level of inequality. Democratic mechanisms of accountability should work better to curb corruption under lower levels of inequality. After presenting cross-national evidence, I will conduct a comparative historical analysis of three countries: Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. All these countries shared similar initial conditions at the time of independence after World War II, such as high corruption and low economic development. Korea and Taiwan reduced corruption and achieved high economic growth, but corruption increased and economic performance was poor in the Philippines. (The rest omitted)