Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Study Finds High Rate of Corruption in Kentucky

kysealKENTUCKY (7/13/14) — An economic study concluded Kentucky is among the nine most corrupt states in the United States in regard to spending by public officials.

The study, conducted by Cheol Liu, assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong, China and John L. Mikesell, Chancellor's Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, was published in the May/June issue of the Public Administration Review. It utilized data from all 50 states spanning 11 years, 1997 to 2008.

The study determined the degree of corruption in each state based on the number of convictions of public officials for crimes including accepting bribes, awarding government contracts without competitive bidding, accepting kickbacks from private entities doing business with the government, using government credit cards for personal purchases, falsifying documents, smuggling illegal aliens and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.

According to the research, states with high rates of corruption tend to have high amounts of spending on capital, construction, highways, wages of public employees, corrections and police protection while spending less on social services such as education, welfare, health and hospitals.

Nationwide, the construction industry is consistently ranked among the most corrupt, due to multiple factors including domination of the industry by only a few firms, close ties with government officials and difficulty in accessing the scope and quality of construction work, the study found.

Past studies of the world economy suggest problems caused by corruption in developing nations could be echoed in the economic activities of corrupt states. These problems include lack of investment from outside the country, lack of trade opportunities and high debt. Further research suggests that underground and unofficial economies— largely those centered in illegal activities — represent a higher share of economic activity in corrupt nations.

Kentucky is among nine states that could have saved an average $1,308 per year per person by lowering corruption levels to equal the national average, the study concluded. The amount represents 5.2 percent of the total spending per capita. Multiplied by the state population in 2008, the final year of the study, the total amount lost to corrupt spending comes to over $5.5 billion.

Neighboring states also fared poorly in the ranking. Illinois and Tennessee both ranked along with Kentucky among the top 10 most corrupt states, according to the study. Missouri, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia were all within the top 20. Indiana fared somewhat better, ranking the 16th least corrupt nationally. Six of the 10 most corrupt states are within the Southeast region of the U.S.

The study concluded that the key to keeping corruption away from the eyes of the public may lie in officials' creation of fiscal illusion, using debt financing to make the burden upon taxpayers seem less significant.

Prosecution of corruption cases tends to rise in election years.

Ami Clayton
SurfKY News Reporter

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Stage Set for This Weekend's National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame Celebration

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (9/23/14) — The stage is set for a three day picker's paradise this weekend in Muhlenberg… Read More

Tame the Wild Outdoor Kid’s Fest at Nature Station

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (9/23/14) — Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area invites families to 'tame the wild' at the… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 19, 2014 5045

Madisonville Man Among Three Arrested for…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
September 20, 2014 3911

Large Cache of Drugs, Cash, Gun Seized;…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 22, 2014 2996

Medical Emergency Ends in Drug Arrest at…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
September 19, 2014 2921

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision at…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Russell Nichols
September 19, 2014 2730

Focus on Hopkins County: Crossfire

in News by Focus on Hopkins County

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 19, 2014 2921

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision at…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Russell Nichols
September 22, 2014 2107

Man Arrested for Slashing Tires

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 22, 2014 1877

Man Strikes Tree, Arrested for DUI,…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 19, 2014 1550

My Kentucky Roads - Twin Maples Farm in…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 20, 2014 1239

Teams Race to Benefit Hopkins County…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 20, 2014 1183

Man Charged with Theft After KSP…

in Top Stories by Alexis McGee
September 19, 2014 951

STREET CLOSINGS FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

in Top Stories by Abby Shelton
September 19, 2014 937

Police Searching for Hit-And-Run Driver

in Top Stories by Jennifer Smith, DCSO
September 22, 2014 553

Buffalo Paint Out Brings Regional Artists…

in Top Stories by Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
September 19, 2014 434

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art News

in Top Stories by Owensboro Museum of Fine Art

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 20, 2014 3911

Large Cache of Drugs, Cash, Gun Seized;…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 22, 2014 2079

Third Suspect Charged in Greenville Home…

in Top Stories by MCITF PIO Wes Miller
September 20, 2014 1947

Paradise NRA Banquet Promises Food, Fun,…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 22, 2014 1402

Muhlenberg Bass Team Members Score…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 22, 2014 1338

Hundreds Turn Out for Greenville Festival

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06