This study shows that the relative size of the youth bulge matters for how corruption affects the internal stability of a political system. We argue that corruption cannot buy political stability (e.g., the greasing hypothesis) in countries with a relatively large youth population. Using panel data covering the 2002-2012 period for more than 100 countries, we find a negative interaction effect between the relative size of the youth population and corruption on internal political stability. Corruption is a destabilizing factor for political systems when the share of the youth population in the adult population exceeds a threshold level of approximately 19%. The negative interaction term is robust, controlling for country and year fixed effects, a set of control variables that may affect internal political stability, an alternative operationalization of youth bulge, and a dynamic panel estimation method.
demographic transition youth bulge political stability corruption