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Trust and Bribery: The Role of the Quid Pro Quo and the Link with Crime

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  • Jennifer Hunt

Abstract

I study data on bribes actually paid by individuals to public officials, viewing the results through a theoretical lens that considers the implications of trust networks. A bond of trust may permit an implicit quid pro quo to substitute for a bribe, which reduces corruption. Appropriate networks are more easily established in small towns, by long-term residents of areas with many other long-term residents, and by individuals in regions with many residents their own age. I confirm that the prevalence of bribery is lower under these circumstances, using the International Crime Victim Surveys. I also find that older people, who have had time to develop a network, bribe less. These results highlight the uphill nature of the battle against corruption faced by policy-makers in rapidly urbanizing countries with high fertility. I show that victims of (other) crimes bribe all types of public officials more than non-victims, and argue that both their victimization and bribery stem from a distrustful environment.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10510.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10510

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  1. Naci Mocan, 2008. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence From Microdata," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 493-510, October.
  2. Falk, Armin & Kosfeld, Michael, 2003. "It's All About Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why is There More Crime in Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1746, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Sanjeev Gupta, 1998. "Does Corruption Affect Income Inequality and Poverty?," IMF Working Papers 98/76, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Who must pay bribes and how much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2486, The World Bank.
  6. Anand V. Swamy & Stephen Knack & Young Lee & Omar Azfar, 2000. "Gender and Corruption," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  7. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Osberg, Lars, 2003. "Nobody to play with? The implications of leisure coordination," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  8. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  9. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  10. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  11. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2000. "Decentralization and corruption - evidence across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2290, The World Bank.
  12. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Hunt, Jennifer & Laszlo, Sonia, 2005. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What are the Payoffs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5251, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ricardo Montero & Gustavo Yamada, 2011. "Raza, corrupción y acceso a servicios públicos en el Perú: ¿Exclusión o discriminación?," Working Papers 11-03, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Aug 2011.
  3. us Swaleheen, Mushfiq, 2008. "Corruption and saving in a panel of countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1285-1301, September.
  4. Hunt, Jennifer, 2006. "How Corruption Hits People When They Are Down," CEPR Discussion Papers 5855, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, 2006. "A Quantitative Exploration Of The Golden Age Of European Growth: Structural Change, Public Investment, The Marshall Plan And Intra-European Trade," Departmental Working Papers 2005-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  6. Chongwoo Choe & Ratbek Dzhumashev & Asadul Islam & Zakir H. Khan, 2011. "Corruption and Network in Education: Evidence from the Household Survey Data in Bangladesh," Monash Economics Working Papers 08-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  7. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2009. "Why Pay Taxes When No One Else Does?," Departmental Working Papers 200902, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  8. Chavis, Larry, 2013. "Social networks and bribery: The case of entrepreneurs in Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 279-293.
  9. Hunt, Jennifer, 2005. "Why Are Some Public Officials More Corrupt Than Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5252, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Hunt, Jennifer & Laszlo, Sonia, 2012. "Is Bribery Really Regressive? Bribery’s Costs, Benefits, and Mechanisms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 355-372.
  11. Şeker, Murat & Yang, Judy S., 2014. "Bribery solicitations and firm performance in the Latin America and Caribbean region," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 246-264.

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