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Legalizing Bribes

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Author Info

  • Martin Dufwenberg

    (University of Arizona, University of Gothenburg, and the CESifo Network)

  • Giancarlo Spagnolo

    (SITE - Stockholm School of Economics, EIEF, Tor Vergata and CEPR)

Abstract

Harassment bribes - payments people give in order not to be denied what they are legally entitled to - are common in for example India. Kaushik Basu recently made a radical proposal to reduce its occurrence: Legalize the act of giving the bribe and double the fine for accepting the bribe! We develop a formal model and delineate circumstances under which Basu's proposal works well or poorly. We discuss a modified scheme where immunity is conditional on reporting that we argue addresses the main issues raised against the proposal. We highlight complementarities between these schemes and other policies aimed at improving the accountability and performance of the public sector, and of law enforcement agencies in particular. We conclude discussing the implications for the fight of more harmful forms of corruption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1117.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision: Dec 2011
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1117

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References

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  1. Jeroen Hinloopen & Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2008. "Laboratory evidence on the effectiveness of corporate leniency programs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 607-616.
  2. Antonio Acconcia & Giovanni Immordino & Salvatore Piccolo & Patrick Rey, 2009. "Accomplice-Witnesses, Organized Crime and Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Italy," CSEF Working Papers 232, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 17 Oct 2009.
  3. Buccirossi, Paolo & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2005. "Leniency Policies and Illegal Transactions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5442, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Banerjee, A.V., 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," Working papers 97-4, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, 07.
  6. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-59, January.
  7. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2006. "Leniency and Whistleblowers in Antitrust," CEPR Discussion Papers 5794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Apesteguia, Jose & Dufwenberg, Martin & Selten, Reinhard, 2003. "Blowing the Whistle," Research Papers in Economics 2003:5, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  9. Nathan H. Miller, 2009. "Strategic Leniency and Cartel Enforcement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 750-68, June.
  10. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
  11. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1289-1332, November.
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  1. How to fight corruption
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-02-06 15:25:00
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Cited by:
  1. Abbink, Klaus & Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Gangadharan, Lata & Jain, Tarun, 2012. "Letting the briber go free: an experiment on mitigating harassment bribes," MPRA Paper 42176, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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