Legalizing Bribe Giving

31 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2013

See all articles by Martin Dufwenberg

Martin Dufwenberg

University of Arizona - Department of Economics

Giancarlo Spagnolo

University of Rome Tor Vergata; EIEF; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Stockholm School of Economics (SITE)

Date Written: November 2012


A model of harassment bribes (paid for services one is entitled to) is developed and used to analyze the recent proposal to legalize paying bribes while increasing fines on accepting bribes. We explore performance as regards corruption deterrence and public service provision. A modified scheme, where immunity is conditional on reporting, addresses some key objections. We highlight complementarities with other policies aimed at improving accountability and performance of law enforcement agencies, and discuss the relevance for fighting other forms of corruption.

Keywords: bribes, corruption, immunity, law enforcement, leniency, whistleblowers

JEL Classification: D73, K42, O17

Suggested Citation

Dufwenberg, Martin and Spagnolo, Giancarlo, Legalizing Bribe Giving (November 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9236, Available at SSRN:

Martin Dufwenberg (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Department of Economics ( email )

McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

Giancarlo Spagnolo

University of Rome Tor Vergata ( email )

Faculty of Economics - DEF
Via Columbia 2
Rome, RM 00133

EIEF ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Stockholm School of Economics (SITE) ( email )

P.O. Box 6501

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