Date of Award

8-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Committee Member

Dr. Lori Dickes, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Carey

Committee Member

Dr. William Haller

Committee Member

Dr. Julia Sharp

Abstract

This dissertation contains a series of essays that focus on corruption and its policy implications.The study begins by providing an overview of corruption research and the contribution of this study to the field. The first essay explores the relationship between corruption and various forms of information and communication technologies (ICT). The analysis suggests that internet awareness of corruption could potentially act as a deterrent to corruption, however the impact of e-government may depend on the quality of institutions. The second essay uses data from the Afrobarometer survey to explore perceptions of corruption across states in Nigeria. Using a mixed effects regression model, the study finds perception of corruption to differ across gender, feelings of marginalization and confidence levels in the Nigerian administration. Overall, people who were more optimistic about Nigeria, were associated with less perceptions of corruption than people who were more pessimistic about Nigeria as a democracy and as a fair country. This study suggests that attitudes impact survey based measures of corruption, therefore using survey based measures as a proxy for actual corruption in relatively ethnic diverse countries such as Nigeria may be misleading. The third essay analyzes corruption among street level bureaucrats especially in developing countries and helps provide insight into why corruption among street level bureaucrats remains rampant in certain parts of the world despite a significant level of awareness and widespread attention to the problems that result from corrupt behavior. The analysis illustrates the role organizational culture, wage structure and inefficient institutions has played in creating a culture of acceptance of corrupt behavior. This study recommends that increased monitoring of street level bureaucrats and addressing the culture, wage structure and organizational recruiting processes is necessary in order to tackle the issue of corruption specifically. The study concludes by providing a summary and a general discussion of the findings and the policy implications for policymakers. This study also suggests further avenues for corruption research.

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