Ignorance is Bliss! Internet Usage and Perceptions of Corruption in a Panel of Developing Countries

Alberto Posso, Meg Elkins


In a world of open-ended access to social media, the ability of governments to control information is slipping away. It is plausible in countries with limited Internet access for citizens to remain ignorant of the true amount of corruption. We built a cross-country panel of 124 developing nations to analyze the effect of Internet usage on perceptions of corruption from 1996 to 2009. We find that, ceteris paribus, the information citizens receive from the World Wide Web leads to deteriorating views of the state of corruption in their country. Greater perceptions of government effectiveness are unsurprisingly found to negatively and significantly decrease perceptions of corruption within countries.


corruption perceptions, Internet usage, panel data, developing countries

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