PublicationsTopic index of systematic reviewsKnowledge pagesCorruption
This page contains the findings of systematic reviews undertaken by groups within or related to the EPPI Centre.

Economic growth [1]

Corruption affects economic growth directly by increasing the cost of production or service delivery, and indirectly by distorting the cost and incentive structures that shape the expectations and decisions of all economic actors. The evidence base indicates that corruption has a negative and statistically significant effect on per-capita income growth – directly and indirectly in low-income countries and elsewhere. In fact, the impact of corruption on growth is more detrimental in samples that are not exclusive to low-income countries only. The growth effect through the investment channel is positive in both low-income and other countries, but this is not statistically significant. In addition, the positive effect through investment is more than outweighed by the negative effects through other channels.

Suitable targets for anti-corruption interventions are corrupt activities that distort the allocation of resources and talents through the human capital and public investment/expenditures channels.

Anti-corruption policies [2]

This review looks at micro-level interventions, and focuses on the distinction between interventions that used monitoring and incentives mechanisms and those that changed the underlying rules of the system. There was convincing evidence that monitoring and incentive-based interventions (both financial and non-financial) have the potential to reduce corruption, at least in the short term, by increasing the risk and cost of corruption involvement. More limited evidence supports a system change that allows communities to set priorities and monitor officials in order to reduce corruption in certain settings. Strategies that change the rules are thought to be more sustainable in the long term, as they attempt to reduce the opportunities for engaging in corrupt behaviour. However, additional research is needed to better understand the long-term effects of changing the rules and monitoring, and incentives interventions. 

Fraud [3]

A systematic map of studies found that sufficient research was available to inform a review of: the different views/values held about personal responsibility and the responsibilities of others in relation to financial services; the different views/values about personal responsibility and the responsibilities of others in relation to the specific issue of notification of changes of circumstances in relation to financial service use; and the impact of different strategies for tackling fraud/error.


1. Evidence on the economic growth impacts of corruption in low-income countries and beyond: a systematic review (2011)

2. The effectiveness of anti-corruption policy: what has worked, what hasn't, and what we don't know (2011)

3. Fraud and error in financial, welfare and revenue services: a systematic map of the empirical research evidence with particular reference to ‘notification of changes of circumstances (2011)

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