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Price Adjustment Under the Table: Evidence on Efficiency-enhancing Corruption

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  • Daniel Levy

Abstract

Direct data on corruption and its prevalence is scarce because of the illegal nature of corruption. Based on first-hand account, this paper offers evidence on corrupt price setting and price adjustment mechanisms that were illegally employed under the Soviet regime. The evidence is anecdotal, and it is based on personal experience during the years 1960-1971 in the Republic of Georgia, while it was still a part of the former Soviet Union. The description of the social organization of the black markets and other illegal economic activities in Georgia that I offer, depicts the creative and sophisticated ways the people in the former Soviet Union were routinely using in order to overcome the problems of constant shortages created by the country's inefficient centrally-planned command economic price system with its distorted relative prices. The description of the specific cases and events and the details of illegal arrangements that were employed in Georgia's black markets, offers a glimpse of quite explicit micro-level evidence on various types of corruption that were common in Georgia, where rent-seeking behavior led to emergence of remarkably well-functioning black markets. The evidence I describe, underscores again the power of incentives in a rent-seeking society.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0605.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0605

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Cited by:
  1. Pál Csapodi & István Takács & Katalin György-Takács, 2011. "Corruption as a Deviant Social Attitude," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 56(1), pages 27-43.
  2. Kodila Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Consequences De La Corruption : Panorama Empirique
    [Consequences of Corruption : Empirical survey]
    ," MPRA Paper 41482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Noel Johnson & William Ruger & Jason Sorens & Steven Yamarik, 2014. "Corruption, regulation, and growth: an empirical study of the United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 51-69, February.
  4. Campos, Nauro F & Dimova, Ralitza & Saleh, Ahmad, 2010. "Whither Corruption? A Quantitative Survey of the Literature on Corruption and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Aidt, T.S., 2009. "Corruption, Institutions and Economic Development," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0918, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Aidt, T.S., 2010. "Corruption and Sustainable Development," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1061, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Noel D., Johnson & William, Ruger & Jason, Sorens & Steven, Yamarik, 2012. "Corruption as a response to regulation," MPRA Paper 36873, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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