Why Does the United States Regulate Foreign Bribery: Moralism, Self-Interest, or Altruism?

17 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2012 Last revised: 22 Sep 2012

Kevin E. Davis

New York University School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2012

Abstract

This short essay traces the legislative history of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and its amendments to examine the influence of three distinct motivations: moralism, (economic) self-interest and altruism. The legislative history suggests that moralism and self-interest played the most significant roles in influencing the provisions of the original Act and its 1988 Amendments. Since then altruism has played a more prominent role in shaping the FCPA and other initiatives aimed at foreign bribery. The essay concludes by discussing the potential tension between self-interest and altruism and ways in which it might be resolved.

Keywords: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA, bribery

Suggested Citation

Davis, Kevin E., Why Does the United States Regulate Foreign Bribery: Moralism, Self-Interest, or Altruism? (July 1, 2012). NYU Annual Survey of American Law, Vol. 67, No. 3, 2012; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-51. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2148082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2148082

Kevin E. Davis (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
Vanderbilt Hall, Room 335
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-992-8843 (Phone)

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