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Honor Among Thieves: A Transaction-Cost Interpretation of Corruption in Third World Countries

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  • Husted, Bryan W.

Abstract

This paper views corruption as a form of contracting amenable to analysis from the viewpoint of transaction-cost economics. Concepts such as transaction, bounded rationality, opportunism, and asset specificity are shown to apply to cases of corruption. Both market and parochial corruption are hypothesized to vary in accordance with changes in the specificity of assets invested to support the corruption transaction. Evidence from a number of different studies tends to support the hypothesized relation. The implications of the transaction-cost perspective are developed for policy makers and directions for future research are suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Husted, Bryan W., 1994. "Honor Among Thieves: A Transaction-Cost Interpretation of Corruption in Third World Countries," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 17-27, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:buetqu:v:4:y:1994:i:01:p:17-27_01
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Kravtsova & Aleksey Oshchepkov, 2019. "Market And Network Corruption," HSE Working papers WP BRP 209/EC/2019, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Alain Verbeke & Liena Kano, 2013. "The transaction cost economics (TCE) theory of trading favors," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 409-431, June.
    3. Fredriksson, Anders, 2014. "Bureaucracy intermediaries, corruption and red tape," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 256-273.
    4. Vartuhí Tonoyan & Robert Strohmeyer & Mohsin Habib & Manfred Perlitz, 2010. "Corruption and Entrepreneurship: How Formal and Informal Institutions Shape Small Firm Behavior in Transition and Mature Market Economies," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 34(5), pages 803-832, September.
    5. Schramm, Matthias & Taube, Markus, 2003. "Evolution and institutional foundation of the hawala financial system," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 405-420.
    6. Humphry Hung, 2008. "Normalized Collective Corruption in a Transitional Economy: Small Treasuries in Large Chinese Enterprises," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 69-83, April.
    7. José Pena López & José Sánchez Santos, 2014. "Does Corruption Have Social Roots? The Role of Culture and Social Capital," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 122(4), pages 697-708, July.
    8. Michael A. Sartor & Paul W. Beamish, 0. "Private Sector Corruption, Public Sector Corruption and the Organizational Structure of Foreign Subsidiaries," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    9. Utz Weitzel & Sjors Berns, 2006. "Cross-border takeovers, corruption, and related aspects of governance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(6), pages 786-806, November.
    10. Pierre-Xavier Meschi, 2009. "Government corruption and foreign stakes in international joint ventures in emerging economies," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 241-261, June.
    11. Frédéric Boehm & Johann Graf Lambsdorff, 2009. "Corrupción y anticorrupción: una perspectiva neo-institucional," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 11(21), pages 45-72, July-Dece.
    12. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf, 2002. "Making corrupt deals: contracting in the shadow of the law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 221-241, July.

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