Government Size, Nonprofit Sector Strength, and Corruption A Cross-National Examination

Source: Nuno S. Themudo, American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 44 no. 3, May 2014

From the abstract:
Government should serve the public good. Yet critics argue that “big government” is a major cause of corruption. This article assesses the empirical validity of their argument through cross-national statistical analysis, addressing two of previous research’s key weaknesses: lack of controls for potential reverse causation and for the likely confounding impact of nonprofit sector size. Contrary to critics’ claims, the analysis presented here finds no evidence that a larger government generally contributes to higher corruption. Instead, both government and nonprofit sector size generally have an inverse relationship with the level of corruption. To combat corruption, therefore, public administrators should be skeptical of recommendations for sweeping government cuts and should instead consider policies that strengthen the public and the nonprofit sectors.