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The Stigma of Wasta: The Effect of Wasta on Perceived Competence and Morality


  • Ahmed Amin Mohamed

    () (Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo)

  • Hadia Hamdy

    () (Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo)


Wasta is an Arabic word that means the use of social connections to obtain benefits that otherwise would not be provided. Wasta plays a very important role in securing of employment in Arab countries. This paper attempts to study the attribution effects of wasta on perceptions of competence and morality. The main hypotheses is that those that use wasta to obtain employment will be perceived as incompetent and immoral irrespective of their true competence and morality. Data gathered from an Egyptian sample supports the hypotheses. Thus, we conclude that wasta may tarnish the image or stigmatize its user.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed Amin Mohamed & Hadia Hamdy, 2008. "The Stigma of Wasta: The Effect of Wasta on Perceived Competence and Morality," Working Papers 5, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:guc:wpaper:5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cukierman, A., 1996. "The Economics of Central Banking," Discussion Paper 1996-31, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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    3. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, July.
    4. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
    5. Eijffinger, S. & De Hann, J., 1995. "The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence," Papers 9587, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    6. Luis I. Jacome H., 2002. "Legal Central Bank independence and inflation in Latin America during the 1990s," Revista de Análisis del BCB, Banco Central de Bolivia, vol. 5(1), pages 157-194, June.
    7. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
    8. Cukierman, Alex, 1994. "Central Bank Independence and Monetary Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1437-1448, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barnett, Andy & Yandle, Bruce & Naufal, George, 2013. "Regulation, trust, and cronyism in Middle Eastern societies: The simple economics of “wasta”," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 41-46.

    More about this item


    Nepotism; attribution theory;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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