Sociological Review of Inequality and Corruption

2159 Words Dec 4th, 2007 9 Pages
Sociological Review

A Comparative Study of Inequality and Corruption
By Jong-sung You and Sanjeev Khagram
From American Sociological Review Vol. 70, No. 1, 2005

I. Objectives of Study
• To give a theoretical account of why income inequality increases corruption
• To show the explanatory ability of income inequality and the interaction between inequality and democracy tested empirically against competing conventional explanations of corruption
• To conduct a methodological study, using statistical techniques, in finding the causes of corruption.

II. Methodology
The study tackles the issue on corruption using both theoretical and methodological techniques to approach the hypotheses. The first part of the paper
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The corrupt people will know this, of course, and will use this fact to their advantage. They will provide "help," be it legal or illegal, in exchange for gaining the favor of the poor. The poor will rarely see the under-the-table dealings that take place in these transactions, as they can only see the benefits that they will be receiving from this rich person. As long as they get these benefits, it will not matter to them how it was given to them. Consequently, as this kind of behavior becomes common, people will think it is a normal practice and will see corruption as an appropriate form of behavior.

• "The adverse effect of inequality on corruption is larger in more democratic countries."
Compared with authoritarian countries, where the leaders can just use their power to make civilians live in fear, democratic leaders cannot get away with being tyrannical to their people. Authoritarians, on the other hand, can rely both on oppression and repression as well as corruption in order to attain their goals, which are more often than not beneficial only to the leaders.
Because democratic leaders cannot make use of oppression and repression, they are more bound to use corrupt practices to keep things in their favor, as corruption does not involve much of instilling fear onto the people, but more of manipulating the law and exploiting the disparity between the
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