The analysis of survey data from up to 107 countries goes against previous research which argues that countries with a British colonial past inherited systems of administration and governance which guard against corruption.
Professor Reyer Gerlagh from The University of Manchester and Dr Lorenzo Pellegrini of the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands also found that countries with higher populations of Protestants are associated with lower levels of corruption.
Widespread access to the press is associated with low levels and exposure to democracy also has a mitigating effect - though over long periods of time.
The team analysed data which complies with the general definition of "abuse of power for personal gains" from the World Bank and Transparency International.
After making an initial analysis of World Bank data, they successfully repeated the test on Transparency International data to verify the findings.
Professor Gerlagh said: "According to our estimates, we find that having been a British colony has no association with a country' s corruption levels.
"This contradicts current thought influenced by Professor Daniel Treisman from the University of California, who found that a British colonial past offers protection from present levels of corruption.
"The analysis also revealed that it takes a while for the establishment of democracy to have an effect of lowering levels of corruption.
“This goes against the two mains streams of current opinion: one argument is that current democracy helps reduce corruption and the other is that it takes 45 years for democracy to have an effect.
"The conversion of 20 per cent of the population from a non-protestant religion to the protestant religion is associated with a reduction of corruption with one fifth of a standard deviation of our data.
"This finding seems to confirm theories which suggest that religion has a fundamental role shaping culture.
"Our findings also support the commonly held hypothesis that countries with better access to the press are less corrupt."
Dr Pellegrini said: “Different countries are marked by large differences to the extent of corruption.
"In some societies, no transaction is finalized without corruption having an effect, while in other countries it is considered an exception and rarely tolerated.
"While theoretical literature on this subject abounds, empirical studies are scarce.
"Since several indexes of corruption perception have become available over the last few years, it is now possible to test statistically some of the ideas from the theoretical literature."
Jon Keighren | alfa
Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Health and Medicine
14.12.2018 | Life Sciences