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Publication: Corruption and Trust: Theoretical Considerations and Evidence From Mexico (Vanderbilt, 27 Sept 2010)
The growing empirical literature on political corruption shows trust
(interpersonal and political) to be both cause and consequence of corruption:
a conclusion that largely builds on studies using cross-national measures of
corruption based on perceptions of corruption rather than actual experience,
raising questions of endogeneity. The lack of trust fed by corruption is
considered critical in that it undermines government efforts to mobilize
society to help fight corruption and leads the public to routinely dismiss
government promises to fight corruption. After disaggregating the major
concepts, this article empirically explores the relationship linking corruption
and trust in Mexico based on data from the 2004 Americas Barometer survey.
The authors discover a powerful mutual causality between perceptions of
corruption and trust in political institutions that suggests that rooting out
perceptions of corruption or shoring up trust in public institutions will be an
extremely difficult project for anyone who takes on the task.