Politics and parasites : the contribution of corruption to human misery

Johnson, Richard and Siverson, Randolph (2013) Politics and parasites : the contribution of corruption to human misery. International Studies Quarterly. ISSN 0020-8833

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Abstract

We address the consequences of corruption within a state on the extent to which populations have shortened life expectancy due to political corruption. Using three variables to estimate corruption, the results support the expectation that corruption increases average disability shortened life years (DALY). The results persist when estimating the model including measures of deaths from civil war and the number of bordering states experiencing civil war, both previously shown to have an effect on DALY, although these two variables are not statistically significant in our models. While the estimated effects of the corruption variables continue to capture much of the variation in DALY for a global group of nations, they completely fail to explain any variation in Sub-Saharan African states, probably because of the devastating effects of AIDS and malaria in that region. Finally, we discuss why this failure occurs and discuss the implications of our results.