Why Do Africans Differ in Paying Bribes?

University of Strathclyde Studies in Public Policy No. 502

32 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2013 Last revised: 19 Sep 2014

See all articles by Caryn Peiffer

Caryn Peiffer

Developmental Leadership Program

Richard Rose

University of Strathclyde - Center for the Study of Public Policy; European Union Institute

Date Written: April 12, 2013

Abstract

By contrast with generalisations about corruption being pervasive in Africa, empirical studies show that some citizens pay bribes for public services while others do not. Three theoretical explanations for variations — differences in national context, individual attributes and public services — are tested herein with Afro-barometer data from 17 countries. We find that major differences tend to be due to differences in individual attributes and between public services. Social and political capital and perceptions of the system as corrupt significantly influence the payment of bribes, whereas believing bribery is morally wrong does not. The degree of poverty is particularly important in bribes for services such as health and education rather than services that are a state monopoly, such as police and permits. The findings suggest that the reduction of bribery has more chance of succeeding by altering features of public services than by appealing to citizens and public officials to change their beliefs.

Keywords: Corruption, social capital, Africa, police, health

Suggested Citation

Peiffer, Caryn and Rose, Richard, Why Do Africans Differ in Paying Bribes? (April 12, 2013). University of Strathclyde Studies in Public Policy No. 502, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2324114

Caryn Peiffer (Contact Author)

Developmental Leadership Program ( email )

Edgbaston
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Richard Rose

University of Strathclyde - Center for the Study of Public Policy ( email )

Glasgow, Scotland G1 1XQ
United Kingdom

European Union Institute ( email )

Via dei Roccettini 9
50014 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
58
Abstract Views
481
Rank
672,866
PlumX Metrics