Corruption is generally less prevalent in democratic than in authoritarian states. Yet in the newly democratic countries of postcommunist Europe, corruption is a major problem. I investigate one possible explanation for this corruption: the nature of new democratic institutions in postcommunist countries. I do so by employing a combination of research strategies. First, I formally model the impact of government structure on corruption. Second, I interview auditors and other government officials in Russia, a country with considerable internal variation in political institutions. Third, I gather quantitative data on the nature and extent of corruption in Russia, using existing data to develop indirect measures of corruption and implementing a survey of Russian individuals on their experiences with corruption.