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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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Bibliographic Info

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. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  2. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  3. Anand Swamy & Stephen Knack & Young Lee & Omar Azfar, 2000. "Gender and Corruption," Center for Development Economics 158, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Falk, Armin & Kosfeld, Michael, 2003. "It's All About Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Naci Mocan, 2004. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 10460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  10. Sanjeev Gupta, 1998. "Does Corruption Affect Income Inequality and Poverty?," IMF Working Papers 98/76, International Monetary Fund.
  11. 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.
  12. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Osberg, Lars, 2003. "Nobody to Play With? The Implications of Leisure Coordination," IZA Discussion Papers 850, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. us Swaleheen, Mushfiq, 2008. "Corruption and saving in a panel of countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1285-1301, September.
  2. Jennifer Hunt, 2005. "Why Are Some Public Officials More Corrupt Than Others?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp790, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Jennifer Hunt, 2006. "How Corruption Hits People When They Are Down," Departmental Working Papers 2006-07, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jennifer Hunt & Sonia Laszlo, 2006. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What Are The Payoffs?," Departmental Working Papers 2006-06, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Ricardo Montero & Gustavo Yamada, 2012. "Exclusión y discriminación étnica en los servicios públicos en el Perú," Chapters of Books, in: Francisco Galarza (ed.), Discriminación en el Perú: Exploraciones en el Estado, la empresa y el mercado laboral, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 219-278 Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico.
  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 & Laszlo, Sonia, 2012. "Is Bribery Really Regressive? Bribery’s Costs, Benefits, and Mechanisms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 355-372.
  10. Chongwoo Choe & Ratbek Dzhumashev & Asadul Islam & Zakir H. Khan, 2011. "Corruption and Network in Education: Evidence from the Household Survey Data in Bangladesh," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 08-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  11. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, . "A Quantitative Exploration of the Golden Age of European Growth: Structural Change, Public Investment, the Marshall Plan and Intra-European Trade," Working Papers UWEC-2004-15, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.

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