Income inequality and acceptance of corrupt acts

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This chapter makes use of the EVS longitudinal integrated file to analyse whether an overall trend towards higher income inequality is associated with growing or declining acceptance of corrupt acts among different social strata. Taking advantage of innovations in multilevel modelling allowed for by the ‘repeated cross-sectional’-nature of this data source, we find that contradictory findings established in previous studies are hard to replicate: there is no relationship between the ‘average’ level (between countries) or the changes (within countries) in income inequality and the acceptance of corrupt acts. Further findings suggest that future research should account for so-called ‘cluster-effects’, whereby ‘families of countries’ with similar religiously-rooted institutional and legal-historical traditions and regulations, systematically vary in terms
of value orientations. In particular, we find higher acceptance of corrupt acts in the Southern- and Eastern-European countries compared to the Northern countries. Future research could flesh out which macro-level institutional arrangements (e.g., religion) are associated with which micro-level social attitudes and norms related to the ‘acceptance of corruption’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReflections on European Values
Subtitle of host publicationHonouring Loek Halman's contribution to the European Values Study
EditorsR. Luijkx, T. Reeskens, I. Sieben
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOpen Press Tilburg University
ISBN (Print)9789403658773
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2022

Publication series

NameEuropean Values Series


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