Corruption and Social Values: Do Postmaterialists Justify Bribery?

36 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014

See all articles by Maria Kravtsova

Maria Kravtsova

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Aleksey Y. Oshchepkov

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Christian Welzel

Leuphana University of Lueneburg; LCSR

Date Written: January 23, 2014

Abstract

Using World Values Survey data from dozens of countries around the world, this article analyzes the relationship between postmaterialist values and attitudes towards bribery in a multi-level framework. This is an inherently interesting and under-researched topic because the various propensities attributed to postmaterialism lead to conflicting expectations about how these values affect attitudes towards bribery. On one hand, the alleged tendency of postmaterialists towards impartiality should lead them to condemn bribery. On the other hand, condemning bribery is a social desirability issue and postmaterialists are known to be less susceptible to desirability pressures and more relaxed about norm deviations. From this point of view, postmaterialists might be more tolerant toward bribery. Reflecting these conflicting expectations, we obtain an ambivalent result, evident in an inverted U-shaped relationship: as we move from pure materialism to mixed positions, people tend to justify bribery more, but then moving from mixed positions to pure postmaterialism, people become again more dismissive of bribery. What is more, the demographic prevalence of postmaterialists in a country moderates these values’ effect on bribery: where postmaterialists are more prevalent, the disapproving effect on bribery outweighs the approving effect. This finding contributes to a better understanding of the pronounced negative correlation between corruption and postmaterialism at the country level and has some important implications.

Keywords: corruption, bribery, social values, postmaterialism, impartiality, norm deviations

JEL Classification: D73, A13, K42, Z10

Suggested Citation

Kravtsova, Maria and Oshchepkov, Aleksey Y. and Welzel, Christian, Corruption and Social Values: Do Postmaterialists Justify Bribery? (January 23, 2014). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 34/SOC/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2384030 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2384030

Maria Kravtsova

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Aleksey Y. Oshchepkov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya, 20
Moscow, 101000
Russia

Christian Welzel

Leuphana University of Lueneburg ( email )

Scharnhorststraße 1
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany

LCSR ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
177
Abstract Views
1,293
rank
183,908
PlumX Metrics