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On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption

  • Hauk, Esther
  • Saez-Marti, Maria

We provide a cultural explanation to the phenomenon of corruption in the framework of an overlapping generations model with intergenerational transmission of values. We show that the economy has two steady states with different levels of corruption. The driving force in the equilibrium selection process is the education effort exerted by parents which depends on the distribution of ethics in the population and on expectations about future policies. We propose some policy interventions which via parents' efforts have long-lasting effects on corruption and show the success of intensive education campaigns. Educating the young is a key element in reducing corruption successfully.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 107 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 311-335

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:107:y:2002:i:2:p:311-335
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  1. Raaj Sah, 2006. "Corruption Across Countries and Regions: Some Consequences of Local Osmosis," Working Papers 0609, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  3. Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
  4. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
  5. Cadot, Olivier, 1987. "Corruption as a gamble," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-244, July.
  6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 1999. "Competition and corruption in an agency relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 271-295, December.
  7. Akerlof, George A, 1983. "Loyalty Filters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 54-63, March.
  8. Andvig, Jens Chr. & Moene, Karl Ove, 1990. "How corruption may corrupt," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 63-76, January.
  9. Qizilbash, M., 1994. "Corruption, temptation and guilt: moral character in economic theory," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9419, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  10. Becker, Gary S, 1977. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology: Reply," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 506-07, June.
  11. Tirole, Jean, 1994. ""A Theory of Collective Reputations" with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality," IDEI Working Papers 38, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. Lui, Francis T., 1986. "A dynamic model of corruption deterrence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 215-236, November.
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