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The Effect of Particularism on Corruption: Theory and Empirical Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Valentina Rotondi
  • Luca Stanca

This paper investigates the role played by the cultural norms of particularism and universalism for collusive bribery. In our theoretical framework, the act of proposing or demanding a bribe violates a commonly held social norm, thus producing a psychological cost. By lowering this psychological cost, particularism increases the probability of offering or asking for a bribe. We test the predictions of the model by using individual-level data for 25 countries from the European Social Survey. Consistent with the theory, particularism is found to have a positive causal effect on the probability of offering a bribe, but no effect on the probability to be asked for a bribe. Overall, our findings indicate that policies aimed at favoring universalism may provide an effective tool in the fight against corruption.

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File URL: http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper294.pdf
File Function: First version, 2015
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 294.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: Feb 2015
Date of revision: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:294
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