The authors propose a classification of the perceived corruption levels of Mediterranean countries according to key political, economic, and social factors. While relevant empirical research has shown the extent of corruption in various countries by analyzing differences in their respective values on a corruption perceptions index, the variables used here include additional data such as gross national income per person in purchasing power parities, a political rights index, a civil liberties index, and a nonincome human development index. Although northern Mediterranean countries are distinguished from Arab and Balkan countries, the labels developed and developing countries in the Mediterranean seem too simplistic when describing the marked heterogeneity within these two groups. The lack of homogeneity can be attributed to institutional and cultural country-specific factors rather than to crude differences in levels of economic development. This suggests that policies against corruption should target a complex ensemble of driving factors not limited to the economic characteristics of an individual country and should include social political, cultural, institutional, and territorial considerations.

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