The effect of educational attainment on corruption participation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Aggregate country level corruption is highly correlated with low levels of development, including low GDP per capita and low average education attainment. To understand the effect corruption has on the daily lives of individuals, though, corruption must be studied at the individual level. I use a unique dataset covering 20 Sub-Saharan African countries and over 27,000 individuals to examine the way education attainment affects corruption participation at the individual level. I find that education has a highly significant, positive effect on corruption participation. More educated individuals likely interact with officials more often and value their time more highly, giving opportunity and incentive to bribe. Additionally, corrupt education systems likely teach corruption as an acceptable societal norm, suggesting that institutional quality, especially in schools, is essential to fighting corruption.