Religious Loyalty and Acceptance of Corruption - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Religious Loyalty and Acceptance of Corruption

Moamen Gouda and Sang-Min Park


Date:
November, 2014

NO.
855

Length:
26 pages

Topic:
D1. Household Behavior and Family Economics
D7. Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

This study investigates the relationship between religiously-induced internalized values of individuals and their specific attitudes regarding the acceptance of corruption. The dataset, on which our study is based, was collected by the World Values Survey from 139,826 individuals in 78 countries surveyed during a period of 13 years. We propose that individual attitudes towards corruption and religion are associated given certain societal and institutional contexts. Our results show that although there is a negative and statistically significant effect of religiosity on the acceptance of corruption on the individual level, this effect is small. We find that there is a threshold value of religiosity below which corruption is more easily accepted by individuals. Our interpretation for this result is simple: individuals with minimal religiosity are generally less constrained by religious norms; specifically, religious norms that are opposed to corruption are less binding on these individuals, resulting in them having a greater propensity to accept corruption. Religiosity, therefore, does lower the acceptance of corruption only when it exceeds a certain threshold for a specific individual.

Research Fellows

Moamen Gouda

Assistant Professor of Middle-East Economics, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea


Sang-Min Park


Project

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