The effects of ICT use and ICT Laws on corruption: A general deterrence theory perspective

Anol Bhattacherjee and Utkarsh Shrivastava in Government Information Quarterly: “Investigations of white collar crimes such as corruption are often hindered by the lack of information or physical evidence. Information and communication technologies (ICT), by virtue of their ability to monitor, track, record, analyze, and share vast amounts of information may help countries identify and prosecute criminals, and deter future corruption. While prior studies have demonstrated that ICT is an important tool in reducing corruption at the country level, they provide little explanation as to how ICT influences corruption and when does it work best.

We explore these gaps in the literature using the hypothetico-deductive approach to research, by using general deterrence theory to postulate a series of main and moderating effects relating ICT use and corruption, and then testing those effects using secondary data analysis. Our analysis suggests that ICT use influences corruption by increasing the certainty and celerity of punishment related to corruption. Moreover, ICT laws moderate the effect of ICT use on corruption, suggesting that ICT investments may have limited effect on corruption, unless complemented with appropriate ICT laws. Implications of our findings for research and practice are discussed….(More)”.