Free to Expose Corruption: The Impact of Media Freedom, Internet Access and Governmental Online Service Delivery on Corruption

Christopher Starke, Teresa K. Naab, Helmut Scherer


As an institution of checks and balances, free media play a vital role in curbing corruption. In addition, the global rise of Internet access and e-government increases the likelihood for corrupt public officials to be exposed. This cross-national study uses secondary data for 157 countries and examines the impact of media freedom, Internet access, and governmental online service delivery on corruption. Media freedom, Internet access, and governmental online service delivery significantly reduce corruption at the country level. While the effect of Internet access remains relatively constant across the analyzed time span from 2003 to 2013, the impact of governmental online service delivery only emerges in 2013. The study also finds a significant interaction effect between both Internet-related variables.


corruption, media freedom, Internet access, e-government, governmental online service delivery, cross-national analysis

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