Determinants of Corruption in Kenya: Born and Bred to Bribe
Social Sciences
Volume 4, Issue 6, December 2015, Pages: 134-141
Received: Sep. 11, 2015; Accepted: Sep. 24, 2015; Published: Nov. 10, 2015
Views 4549      Downloads 120
Odhiambo Fredrick Onyango, ResearchPro Solutions, Department of Research & Evaluations, Nairobi, Kenya
Article Tools
Follow on us
Corruption is an epidemic in Kenya. Major corruption scandals have been reported since the early 90’s. These include the Turkwel Hydroelectric Power Station scandal (1986 – 1990), the Goldenberg scandal (1990 – 1999), the Grand Regency scandal in 2008, and the Triton Oil scandal in 2009 among numerous others. Despite the attempts to fight corruption, the war has never been won. While a number of studies have examined the determinants of corruption in order to offer policy recommendations to fight corruption, individual-level factors have not been exhaustively examined especially for developing countries like Kenya where international corruption indices paint a grim picture. Moreover, the studies have mostly been based on perception of individuals and not the actual payment of bribe. This study sought to assess the individual factors that influence individuals to pay bribes in Kenya. The study uses survey data from Afrobarometer Round 5 survey. The probit analysis shows that corruption in Kenya is influenced by gender, race, ethnicity, religiosity, employment status, and education while age, religion and location were not significant determinants of corruption. The study therefore concludes that a number of individual-level factors explain the likelihood to be corrupt suggesting that some individuals may be born or bred to bribe. To address corruption in Kenya, policy makers should include individual-level determinants of corruption in policy formulation efforts as they are just as important as other factors in explaining corruption.
Corruption, Bribe, Afrobarometer, Religiosity, Kenya
To cite this article
Odhiambo Fredrick Onyango, Determinants of Corruption in Kenya: Born and Bred to Bribe, Social Sciences. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2015, pp. 134-141. doi: 10.11648/
Pázmándy, M. (2011). Socio-Economic Influences on Corruption Perception – Empirical Evidence from 27 European Countries. Hamburg Review of Social Sciences, 5(3), 52-80.
Bardhan, P. (1997). Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues. Journal of Economic Literature, XXXV(September), 1320-1346.
Barr, A., & Serra, D. (2006). Culture and Corruption. Oxford: Global Poverty Research Group.
Churchill, R. Q., Agbodohu, W., & Arhenful, P. (2013). Determining Factors Affecting Corruption: A Cross Country Analysis. International Journal of Economics, Business and Finance, 1(10), 275-285.
De Maria, W. (2008). Measurements and markets: deconstructing the corruption perception index. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 21(7), 777-797.
Frechette, G. R. (2006). A Panel Data Analysis of the Time-Varying Determinants of Corruption. New York: New York University.
Kanold, C. (2007). Perceived corruption, public opinion, and social influence in Senegal. Cape Town: Afrobarometer.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. (2014). Information on the Revised National Accounts. Nairobi: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
Kimuyu, P. (2007). Corruption, firm growth and export propensity in Kenya. International Journal of Social Economics, 34(3), 197-217.
Konold, C. (2007). Perceived Corruption, Public Opinion, and Social Influence in Segenal. Afrobarometer.
Lee, W.-S., & Guven, C. (2013). The Influence of Cultural Values and Contagion Effects at the Micro Level. Bonn: IZA.
Leite, C., & Weidmann, J. (1999). Does Mother Nature Corrupt? Natural Resources, Corruption and Economic Growth. IMF Working Paper, 1-34.
McAdam, P., & Rummel, O. (2004). Corruption: A Non-Parametric Analysis. Journal of Economic Studies, 31(6), 509-523.
Melgar, N., & Rossi, M. (2008). Perception of Corruption in Uruguay: the Effects of the Sector of Employment, Life-Course Adjustments and Education. Revista Economia Y Administracion, 70, 41-52.
Melgar, N., Rossi, M., & Smith, T. W. (2010). Perceptions of Corruption in a Cross-Country Perspective: Why are Some Individuals More Corruption Than Others? Economia Aplicada, 14(2), 183-198.
Morris, S. D., & Klesner, J. L. (2010). Corruption and Trust: Theoretical Considerations and Evidence from Mexico. Comparative Political Studies, 4(10), 1258-1285.
Njonjo, K. S. (2013). Exploring Kenya's Inequality: Pulling Apart of Pooling Together? Nairobi: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics & Society for International Development.
Peiffer, C., & Rose, R. (2014). Why do some Africans pay bribes while other Africans don't? Nairobi: Afrobarometer.
Rabl, T., & Kuhlmann, T. M. (2009). Why or Why Not? Rationalisation Corruption in Organisations. Cross Cultural Management: An Introduction, 16(3), 268-286.
Richmond, S., & Alpin, C. (2013). Governments Faulter in Fight to Curb Corruption: the People Give Most a Failing State. Nairobi: Afrobarometer.
Salifu, A. (2008). Can Corruption and Economic Crime be Controlled in Developing Countries - and if so, it the Cost Worth It? Journal of Money Laundering Control, 11(3), 273-283.
Shadabi, L. (2013). The Impact of Religion on Corruption. The Journal of Business Inquiry, 12, 102-117.
Shaw, P. (2009). The Determinants of Educational Corruption: The Case of Ukraine. Fairfield University.
Shehu, A. Y. (2005). Combating Corruption in Nigeria - Bliss or Bluster? Journal of Financial Crime, 12(1), 69-87.
Stapenhurst, F., & Langseth, P. (1997). The Role of the Public Administration in Fighting Corruption. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 10(5), 311-330.
Strategic Public Relations and Research Limited. (2005). National Survey on the State of Corruption in Kenya. Nairobi: The National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee.
Svensson, J. (2005). Eight Questions About Corruption. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(3), 19-42.
Transparency International. (2013). Global Corruption Barometer 2013: Kenya. TI-Kenya: Nairobi.
Transparency International. (2014a). Clarification: Transparency International has not Ranked Kenya Fourth Most Corrupt Country in the World. TI-Kenya: Nairobi.
Transparency International. (2014b). Kenya's Performance in Corruption Perception Casts Doubt on Reforms. TI-Kenya: Nairobi.
Treisman, D. (2000). The Causes of Corruption: A Cross-National Study. Journal of Public Economics, 76(3), 399-457.
Wantz, J., & McNally, D. (2015). Race, Accountability, and Corruption: A Survey Experiment. Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting, (pp. 1-37).
Zaman, A., & Ur-Rahim, F. (2009). Corruption: measuring the unmeasurable. Humanomics, 25(2), 117-126.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186