Abstract Purpose This paper assesses the determinants of corruption-control with freedom dynamics (economic, political, press and trade), government quality and a plethora of socio-economic factors in 46 African countries using updated data. Design/methodology/approach A quantile regression approach is employed while controlling for the unobserved heterogeneity. Principal component analysis is also used to reduce the dimensions of highly correlated variables. Findings With the legal origin fundamental characteristic, the following findings have been established. (1) While political freedom increases corruption-control (CC) in a bottom quantile of English common law countries, there is no such evidence in their French civil law counterparts. (2) Government quality consistently improves CC across all quantiles in English common law countries but fails to exert the same effect in middle quantiles of French civil law countries. (3) Economic freedom ameliorates CC only in common law countries with low existing CC levels (bottom quantiles). (4) We find no significant evidence of a positive 'press freedom'-CC nexus and having the status of Low income English common law (French civil law) countries decreases (increases) CC. From a religious domination scenario, we also find the following. (1) Political and trade freedoms only reduce CC in Christian dominated countries while press freedom has a mitigation effect in both religious cultures (though more consistent across quantiles of Christian-oriented countries). (2) Government quality is more pro-CC in Christian than in Muslim-dominated countries. (3) While economic freedom has a scanty negative nexus with CC in Christian-oriented countries, the effect is positive in their Muslim-dominated counterparts. (4) Having a low-income status in countries with Christian common law tradition improves CC. Originality/value We complement the literature on the fight against corruption in Africa by employing recently documented additional factors that should be considered in corruption studies.
Corruption Freedom Government quality Quantile regression Africa