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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Historically economists have turned to principal-agent models to explain corruption and expected utility models to model bribe transactions. These models depend on a definition of corruption that assumes a government with separate public and private spheres. However, the existence of separate public and private roles cannot be assumed in a number of countries, including some African countries. As political economists bridge the gap between the political science and economics literatures on corruption, bringing wider awareness of governments that hold power through the distribution of private goods to elites, traditional economic models of corruption must become more contextualized. “Africa” is not an analytically useful category for the study of corruption.

Keywords: corruption, governance, limited access orders, extractive institutions, neopatrimonialism, resource curse, conflict

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