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There is lively debate concerning the influence of development assistance (‘aid’) on corruption in recipient countries; however, to date, few studies have systematically examined the subject subnationally. This study estimates the association between sub-national aid levels and citizens’ perceptions and experiences of local corruption in Malawi. Overall, we find that individuals in districts receiving high amounts of aid are no more likely to view local leaders as corrupt than those in districts receiving lower amounts of aid. However, higher levels of aid are associated with more experiences of bribe solicitation. We also find evidence that aid channeled through NGOs may have different effects than government-implemented aid, as it is associated with better perceptions of local corruption and reduced bribe solicitation. The findings suggest that, in aggregate, corruption resulting from receiving aid may not be of sufficient magnitude or visibility to change citizens’ broader beliefs about government performance or legitimacy.
Burrowes, S. (2018). Katangale or Kuba?: Development Assistance and the Experiences and Perceptions of Local Corruption in Malawi. Development Studies Research, 5 (1), 37-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/21665095.2018.1444499
Originally published in Development Studies Research, 5(1), 37-49. The original material can be found here.
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