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The Effect of Particularism on Corruption: Theory and Empirical Evidence

Valentina Rotondi () and Luca Stanca ()

No 294, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Corruption; Bribe; Particularism; Universalism. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D73 O17 C71 K42 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-soc
Date: 2015-02, Revised 2015-02
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http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper294.pdf First version, 2015 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: The effect of particularism on corruption: Theory and empirical evidence (2015) Downloads
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