Corruption clubs: empirical evidence from kernel density estimates

T. Herzfeld, Ch. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A common finding of many analytical models is the existence of multiple equilibria of corruption. Countries characterized by the same economic, social and cultural background do not necessarily experience the same levels of corruption. In this article, we use Kernel Density Estimation techniques to analyse the cross-country distribution of corruption. Particular emphasis will be given to the question whether the distribution of corruption shows more than one peak. We find that most of the estimated densities exhibit twin peaks. We also provide some evidence on the intra-distribution dynamics and the persistence of corruption. We find the group of countries classified within the two 'clubs' to be very stable. Corruption is a highly persistent phenomenon. Substantial changes in the economic, political and cultural environment of countries within the 'corruption club' are required before a significant decline of corruption is to be expected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1565-1572
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • persistence


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