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Permissiveness toward illegal actions in Uruguay Are Belief in God, income and education relevant?


  • Natalia Melgar

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

  • Máximo Rossi

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)


This paper assesses the willingness to justify illegal actions and whether this attitude has changed between 1995 and 2005. Our dataset are 1995 and 2005 waves of World Values Survey. Permissiveness or the willingness to justify illegal actions is a cultural phenomenon that can be defined in several ways depending on societies and people. Hence, we consider firstly the four dimensions available (accepting bribes, evading taxes, etc.), and we estimated multivariate regressions. Secondly, from principal component analysis, we generated a new variable "willingness to justify” as a weighted average of the previous dimensions. We find that socio-demographic variables such as age and education reduce permissiveness, political affiliation with the Center hikes it, being employed full time reduces permissiveness while income has the opposite effect, even when religiosity reduces permissiveness, beliefs in God do not matter, living in Montevideo reduces permissiveness and finally, between 1995 and 2005 the permissiveness among Uruguayans has changed, the model show that the probability of being permissive is significantly higher in 2005 than in 1995

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Melgar & Máximo Rossi, 2009. "Permissiveness toward illegal actions in Uruguay Are Belief in God, income and education relevant?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1009, Department of Economics - dECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:1009

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    permissiveness; illegal action; microeconomic behavior; Uruguay.;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law


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