I have mentioned many times that there is a strong correlation between degree of honesty and trust in a national culture and the level of economic development and that that correlation is likely causative. Whether it is bi-directional I do not know. I suspect that high levels of trust enable cultural and communication interactions that facilitate refined levels of production and productivity. My hypothesis is that honesty and trust are predicates to sustained development. I believe that it is unlikely that honesty and trust will arise independently from simply development, though China might end up being an interesting case study against my theory. But not yet, so far.
From Corruption by Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser.
Almost a perfect correlation between low perception of corruption and high levels of development.
UPDATE: This post by Pseudoerasmus, Where do pro-social institutions come from?, does not directly answer the question but has a discussion that covers common ground. Pseudoerasmus's conclusion is that a country develops owing to an interaction of high IQ and high future orientation. He correlates high IQ with high cooperation and high reciprocity which militates against high corruption. The implication is that corruption is a symptom of an underlying inability that in turn precludes development.