Spread of corruption in Indonesia after decentralisation: a spatiotemporal analysis

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The end of the Suharto era in 1998 brought two prominent reforms to Indonesia: (i) a raft of anti-corruption policies and (ii) decentralisation of administrative and fiscal functions. District-level reported corruption swelled in following years and the role of decentralisation came under scrutiny, but data limitations prevented direct examination of a contributing role. This paper combines perceived and reported (observed) regional measures of corruption to examine spatiotemporal corruption patterns across Indonesian districts post-decentralisation. That period saw both improvements in perceptions measures and increases in the reported number of convicted perpetrators and in the reported value of financial loss. Cross-sectional comparisons show corruption perceptions (i) were milder in districts with less reported incidents of corruption, and (ii) responded positively to efforts by the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to curb corruption. These findings suggest that increased capability and resources allocated to combatting corruption play a large role in determining corruption perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-215
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Development Studies
Issue number2
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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