Public sector corruption and perceived government performance in transition
We offer evidence that public sector corruption has an inverse association with evaluations of performance at both the local and central government levels. Consistent with ex ante expectations, perceptions of corruption among local government officials are directly and negatively related to performance evaluations at the local government level and relatively less so at the central government level. Conversely, perceptions of corruption among overall government officials have a stronger negative association with performance evaluations of central governments relative to performance evaluations of local governments. These results confirm that individual evaluations of public sector corruption affect perceived government performance evaluations, with local–local, local–central, central–local, and central–central level variances. Regressions by country groups—such as European Union membership, or geographic clusters, such as Southeastern Balkan or the former Soviet Union states—continue to support the core findings with one caveat. Results from two-level random intercepts and slopes regression models show that the negative association between perceived corruption and government performance evaluation is weaker in contexts with relatively higher levels of public corruption.
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