n South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - The impact of fiscal policies on corruption : a panel analysis - original research

Volume 21 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8812
  • E-ISSN: 2222-3436



This article seeks to complement the previous literature and clarify whether fiscal policy plays a role in the level of corruption of a country. The present work investigates whether the increase in fiscal pressure leads to a higher level of corruption and whether the results differ from developed to developing countries. This article examines a large sample consisting of over 185 countries, during the period 2005–2014. The technique employed was short panel data. Five statistical models were used such as the pooled OLS, pooled FGLS, within model, between model and random-effects GLS model. Our main contribution consists in finding differentiated results of the influence of fiscal policy on the level of corruption among developed and developing countries. For developed countries, we found that, with high-quality institutions, low fiscal pressure leads to a lower level of corruption, which is in line with expectations. Conversely, in developing countries, with low-level institutional quality, low fiscal pressure increases corruption, because of low governance efficiency under which people may easily circumvent the law. Our findings suggest that governments and policy-makers need to acknowledge that the anti-corruption fight requires not only the right fiscal policies but also the right way of implementing these policies, recognising the role of quality institutions, which need to prevail in any country.

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