Why Do Some Africans Pay Bribes While Other Africans Don't?

Afrobarometer Working Paper No. 148

29 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 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: September 30, 2014

Abstract

Generalizations about African societies being pervasively corrupt are refuted in this innovative paper. Among 25,397 Afrobarometer respondents in 18 countries, 26% report paying a bribe, while 74% do not. Five hypotheses offer explanations: institutional context, inequalities of socio-economic resources, social inclusion and exclusion, social and political capital, and conflicting norms. Multilevel statistical analysis identifies as most important: contextual differences in colonial legacies, ethnic politicization, service provision, press freedom, and having social or political capital. The analysis emphasizes studying behavior rather than perceptions of corruption and supports a public-policy focus on bribery as an exchange for specific public services.

Keywords: Africa, corruption, Afrobarometer

Suggested Citation

Peiffer, Caryn and Rose, Richard, Why Do Some Africans Pay Bribes While Other Africans Don't? (September 30, 2014). Afrobarometer Working Paper No. 148, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2505997 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2505997

Caryn Peiffer

Developmental Leadership Program ( email )

Edgbaston
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Richard Rose (Contact Author)

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

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