The objective of this thesis is to investigate the consequences of corruption for the duration of political regimes during the time period 1984-2008. I derive hypotheses following the extension of the ``selectorate theory'' (Bueno de Mesquita et.al., 2003, chap.8) developed to investigate the situations causing threats to the institutional framework (the political regime). The welfare of societal groups and institutional preferences in light of private and public goods allocation are the main determinants of regime stability. Corruption is one of several factors that affect the welfare of societal groups through the allocation of private goods.
As a first step, a series of logistic regression models evaluate the relationship between corruption, political regimes and events linked to political instability and civil unrest. Corruption increases the likelihood of experiencing coup attempts, government crisis, revolution attempt, and demonstrations in the period 1984-2008. In relation to the main analyses, these events are intervening factors that under certain circumstances may lead to a change in the political regime of a country. Therefore, I test how the duration of political regimes are affected by corruption conditioned on political regimes. The main results extend ``Model 2 1900-2000'' in Gates et.al. (2006, p.901), which find that institutionally consistent regimes (democracies and autocracies) endure longer than inconsistent regimes, by including an interaction term between corruption and political regimes. I hypothesize that corruption decreases the stability of democracies and increase the stability of autocracies, and thereby evaluate further the implications of de facto political power (defined as the sum of factors affecting the distribution of resources) on the duration of political regimes.
The main findings of this thesis, using survival analysis, suggest that corruption only affects the duration of democracies. This finding is consistent across model specifications and alternative operationalizations of political regimes, but there is a high degree of uncertainty linked to the estimates. Democracies are more durable, in the sense that they have a lower probability of regime change when corruption is low. An increase in corruption decreases the survival ratio of democratic regimes. The level of corruption does not affect the duration of autocratic regimes, nor are autocratic regimes more stable than inconsistent regimes in the period 1984 to 2008.