THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CORRUPTION, TRUST AND EFFICACY IN THE WESTERN BALKANS Direct and conditional effects
Abstract: Empirical findings indicate that corruption perceptions decrease two key components of system support and legitimacy: citizens’ political trust and political efficacy. While the relationship between corruption, trust and political efficacy is well established in the literature, little attention has been paid so far to contextual factors that could moderate this relationship. This thesis tests both the direct effects of corruption on trust and political efficacy and potentially their conditional nature in a new context: The Western Balkan. To test my hypotheses, I use individual-level data from the Balkan Barometer, consisting of 6,020 observations, and OLS models. Results show that, as expected, perceptions of corruption decrease levels of political trust and efficacy in the Western Balkans. However, contrary to expectations stemming from previous research, citizens’ satisfaction with the economy appears to strengthen this relationship instead of weakening it.
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