Bribery as Negotiation: A Decision Making Perspective
44 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2011 Last revised: 14 Apr 2013
Date Written: June 24, 2011
The majority of research in conflict management focuses on conflict resolution: the process of reaching a mutually beneficial solution for the negotiating parties. However, some negotiations impart substantial negative externalities onto third parties, so "conflict resolution" is socially suboptimal. Bribery is one such example: potential bribe-givers and bribe-takers often have to negotiate on the price, speed and quality of services. The outcome of a “successful” negotiation may be a structurally unsound building, or a driver’s license issued to an incapable driver. The current paper examines bribery from a behavioral decision making perspective, zooming in on the economic and moral motivations of the negotiating parties and argues that the assignment of moral responsibility for bribery exchanges may play a significant role in the process. The lessons and policy suggestions stemming from this framework are compared and contrasted to the currently dominant approaches for controlling corruption: economic incentives and moral education.
Keywords: Bribery, Corruption, Bargaining, Negotiation, Ethical Decision Making
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