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Volume 22 No. 3, December 2023


Article History:
Received: 01 October 2023
Accepted: 30 October 2023
Available online: 01 December 2023


Does Government Size Cause Corruption?: A Comparative Study in Countries with Different Levels of Democracy

Mahdi Saleh Sulaiman Al-Rikani1♣ and Mufeed Almula-Dhanoon2

1Administrative Technical Institute, Duhok Polytechnic University, Duhok, Iraq
2College of Adminstration and Economics, University of Mosul, Iraq


Corruption is a major issue in the economy. As a result, governments adopt policies and procedures to limit its continuation. Theoretical and empirical perspectives differ on the extent to which government size influences the level of corruption. Some believe that a huge government is a stimulus for corrupt behaviors, while others believe that it is not. This study aimed to investigate if government size affects corruption in democratic and authoritarian nations. For the years 2003–2021, data were gathered for 39 authoritarian regimes and 22 democratic regimes. Using panel data and the Generalized Method of Moment (GMM) method, the hypothesis was experimentally tested. In democratic countries, bigger government size was connected with greater corruption, whereas in authoritarian regimes, government size had no effect on corruption. On the contrary it was discovered that both democratic and authoritarian nations benefitted from more transparency due to the function of legislation and educational attainment. It was also found that increasing per capita GDP helped to reduce corruption in authoritarian countries but did not explain corruption in democratic countries.

Keywords: Corruption, government size, democracy, GMM
Corresponding Author: Mahdi Saleh Sulaiman Al-Rikani; Administrative Technical Institute, Dohuk, Duhok Polytechnic University; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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