I know nothing about the 'economics of corruption' literature, whether in the medium(fluctuations) or long-run(growth)... Although I've found many surveys (mostly +5 years, and from journals I don't recognize), since I known nothing about this subject, I have no idea with which ones I should start,.

I'm looking for two pointers

  1. One to a survey/literature review from a well-established journal (QJE, etc.)
  2. A book on this subject, but similar in difficulty to those books for the general public like "Nudge", "Irrational Exuberance", "Trade Talks", "The Triumph of Injustice", etc.

Thanks in advance.


2 Answers 2


A very nice survey from a now well-established journal is

  • Olken, Benjamin A., and Rohini Pande. "Corruption in developing countries." Annual Review of Economics 4, no. 1 (2012): 479-509. Here is the ungated NBER version. It is not new and focuses on developing countries, but it is very influential. They try to answer three questions:
  1. what is the degree of corruption?
  2. What are the consequences of corruption in terms of efficiency?
  3. and what determines the level of corruption?

Olken and Pande (2012) is a great survey, but there are more resources.

Since you mention the long-term effects of corruption, here are some from the growth literature:

  1. This is the first theoretical model on corruption and growth: Ehrlich, Isaac, and Francis T. Lui. "Bureaucratic corruption and endogenous economic growth." Journal of Political Economy 107, no. S6 (1999): S270-S293.

  2. A paper on education and corruption in a growth model: Eicher, Theo, Cecilia García-Peñalosa, and Tanguy Van Ypersele. "Education, corruption, and the distribution of income." Journal of Economic Growth 14, no. 3 (2009): 205-231.

  3. This includes collusion in corrupt activities in a growth model: Blackburn, Keith, Niloy Bose, and M. Emranul Haque. "The incidence and persistence of corruption in economic development." Journal of Economic Dynamics and control 30, no. 12 (2006): 2447-2467.

  4. Not particularly a growth model, but they looked at the effect on average corruption over a period of time: Glaeser, Edward L., and Raven E. Saks. "Corruption in america." Journal of Public Economics 90, no. 6-7 (2006): 1053-1072.

Since you ask about books, here are two classics:

  1. Rose-Ackerman, Susan. Corruption: A study in political economy. Academic Press, 2013.

  2. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, and Bonnie J. Palifka. Corruption and government: Causes, consequences, and reform. Cambridge university press, 2016.

I notice this is an old question, so perhaps you already know about these sources.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi Erik, although it's an old question, I didn't know any of your sources. Many thanks ;) $\endgroup$ Nov 2, 2021 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ :) There are more papers in the Economics of Corruption literature. Perhaps others (or you) will want to add some more of them. $\endgroup$
    – erik
    Nov 2, 2021 at 17:25

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