Political Parties, Business Groups, and Corruption in Developing Countries

Research output: Book/ReportBook

46 Scopus citations


Political corruption is one of the globe's most pressing yet seemingly permanent problems. It is a root cause of low growth and inequality, and plagues numerous nations throughout the world to varying degrees. In the past, it proved difficult to measure, and the political science literature on it was thin. In recent years, political scientists have greatly improved their analytical tools for analyzing and contextualizing corruption, and it is now a hot topic in the discipline. This book examines corruption levels in sixty-four developing democracies over a twenty-year period. The comparative focus is on Brazil and India, two of the most important developing nations. Drawing from a 2005-06 survey of Brazilian and Indian businesses, the book finds that legislative institutions are central in determining the degree and type of corruption. Most importantly, in legislatures where the party holds sway (as opposed to individual legislators), the level of corruption is higher. Party costs are higher than that of any one legislator, which explains part of the difference. More fundamentally, the fact that different systems offer different incentives to business groups and legislatures explains why some systems are less corrupt than others. Given structural variation across democratic political systems, this book aims to help with predictions concerning which states are most susceptible to political corruption, and which reforms might best alleviate the problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9780199894789
ISBN (Print)9780199735907
StatePublished - May 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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