Individualism and Corruption: A Cross-Country Analysis

Chandan Jha, Bibhudutta Panda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


While the role of cultural norms in determining corruption is well-explored in the empirical literature, the relationship between a specific aspect of culture, that is, individualism versus collectivism, and corruption is rather unexplored. This paper investigates the relationship between individualism/collectivism and corruption in a large cross-section of countries. To establish causality, the paper uses an index of historical prevalence of infectious diseases and a measure of genetic distance between the population in a country from that in the United States to instrument the individualism/collectivism variable. We find that more individualistic countries have lower levels of corruption (perception). This relationship is robust to the inclusion of a rich set of control variables and to the use of alternative measures of corruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
JournalEconomic Papers
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Economic Society of Australia


  • collectivism
  • corruption
  • culture
  • individualism


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