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Corruption and Life Satisfaction in Transition: Is Corruption a Social Norm in Eastern Europe?

Amini, C; Douarin, E; (2020) Corruption and Life Satisfaction in Transition: Is Corruption a Social Norm in Eastern Europe? Social Indicators Research 10.1007/s11205-020-02389-6. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

To explain a so-called “happiness gap” between citizens of Eastern Europe and comparable individuals from other regions, researchers have pointed at low governance quality, and corruption in particular, as a possible cause. However, this explanation seems incompatible with the “broken windows” paradigm, which posit that in high-corruption environment, victims of corruption tend to report a lower psychological cost of victimisation. Our paper contributes to the literature by explicitly tackling this potential contradiction. Our results nuance our understanding of the role of corruption on people’s life satisfaction in Eastern Europe by investigating the extent to which the subjective cost of corruption depends on its pervasiveness. We demonstrate: (1) large individual cost associated with different measures of corruption, (2) a small reduction in these costs for some measures of corruption as it becomes more pervasive and (3) large inequalities in the cost of corruption depending on education and income. Overall, we conclude that, for the population as a whole, there is limited evidence of corruption being a social norm in Eastern Europe, in the sense that pervasiveness does not reduce individual cost.

Type: Article
Title: Corruption and Life Satisfaction in Transition: Is Corruption a Social Norm in Eastern Europe?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11205-020-02389-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02389-6
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Happiness, Subjective well-being, Corruption, Eastern Europe, Social norms
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099734
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