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The effect of particularism on corruption: Theory and empirical evidence

Valentina Rotondi () and Luca Stanca ()

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2015, vol. 51, issue C, 219-235

Abstract: This paper investigates the role played by the cultural norm of particularism, as opposed to 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. Overall, our findings indicate that policies aimed at favoring universalism may provide an effective tool to reduce corruption.

Keywords: Corruption; Bribery; Particularism; Universalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D73 O17 C71 K42 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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