Have corrupt societies deleterious effects on health? New GLO Discussion Paper.

A new GLO Discussion Paper finds that bribing for public services worsens self-assessed health using individual-level data from 28 post-communist countries.

The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.

GLO Discussion Paper No. 432, 2019

Can bribery buy health? Evidence from post-communist countries –  Download PDF
Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Popova, Olga

GLO Fellows Astghik Mavisakalyan & Olga Popova

Author Abstract: Corruption is pervasive, but we know little about its effects on individual lives. This paper examines whether living in a corrupt society has deleterious effects on health. Using individual-level data from 28 post-communist countries, we demonstrate that bribing for public services worsens self-assessed health. Unlike other studies, we account for endogeneity of bribery and show that bribing for any type of public service, not just for health services, has an adverse impact. We also find that bribery lowers the quality of services received. Moreover, there are potentially high indirect costs of bribery since, as we show, it comes at the expense of cutting food consumption. These findings suggest that corruption is a potentially important source behind the poor health outcomes in many developing countries.

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.