There's this:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/won ... geography/
Here’s why remote state capitals are often more corrupt
Why are some capital cities more corrupt than others? Two recent economic working papers offer a novel theory — geography might be to blame. In particular, capitals that are more isolated from the rest of the state or country tend to be more corrupt.
The first NBER paper, written by Filipe R. Campante of Harvard Kennedy School and Quoc-Anh Do of Singapore Management University looks at state capitals in the United States and finds that "isolated capital cities are robustly associated with greater levels of corruption."
More at the link. Missouri is actually below
the trend line, but it appears that the graph is based on federal convictions rather than the "soft" corruption that is alleged to be going on in Jefferson City.
This add-on at the end probably explains a lot, too. You could commute from Columbia if you wanted to live in a relatively engaging and progressive city, but that's still a long drive and Columbia is still no KC or St. Louis.
Update: Josh Keating at Foreign Policy also has a great discussion of these papers, and adds this smart point: " I wonder if part of the issue may be the ability to attract qualified — and not corrupt — civil servants. No offense to Albany or Abuja, but I'm guessing the governments based in Boston, or Denver, not to mention Paris and Tokyo, might have an easier time attacting the best and the brightest."