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How Corruption Hits People When They Are Down

  • Hunt, Jennifer

Using cross-country and Peruvian data, I show that victims of misfortune, particularly crime victims, are much more likely than non-victims to bribe public officials. Misfortune increases victims' demand for public services, raising bribery indirectly, and also increases victims' propensity to bribe certain officials conditional on using them, possibly because victims are desperate, vulnerable, or demanding services particularly prone to corruption. The effect is strongest for bribery of the police, where the increase in bribery comes principally through increased use of the police. For the judiciary the effect is also strong, and for some misfortunes is composed equally of an increase in use and an increase in bribery conditional on use. The expense and disutility of bribing thus compound the misery brought by misfortune.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5855.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5855
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Simeon Djankov & Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2007. "Obtaining a Driver's License in India: An Experimental Approach to Studying Corruption," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1639-1676, November.
  2. Jennifer Hunt, 2006. "How Corruption Hits People When They Are Down," NBER Working Papers 12490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jennifer Hunt & Sonia Laszlo, 2005. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What Are the Payoffs?," NBER Working Papers 11635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, February.
  5. Hunt, Jennifer, 2004. "Trust and Bribery: The Role of the Quid Pro Quo and the Link with Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 1179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Deininger, Klaus & Mpuga, Paul, 2005. "Does Greater Accountability Improve the Quality of Public Service Delivery? Evidence from Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 171-191, January.
  7. Robin Thompson & Ana Xavier, 2002. "Unofficial Payments for Acute State Hospital Care In Kazakhstan. A Model of Physician Behaviour with Price Discrimination and Vertical Service Differentiation," LICOS Discussion Papers 12402, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan & Simeon Djankov, 2006. "Does corruption produce unsafe drivers?," Natural Field Experiments 00218, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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