The Effect of Particularism on Corruption: Theory and Empirical Evidence

29 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2015

See all articles by Valentina Rotondi

Valentina Rotondi

Polytechnic University of Milan - Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering; National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research

Luca Stanca

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Date Written: February 27, 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates the role played by the cultural norms of particularism and universalism for collusive bribery. In our theoretical framework, the act of proposing or demanding a bribe violates a commonly held social norm, thus producing a psychological cost. By lowering this psychological cost, particularism increases the probability of offering or asking for a bribe. We test the predictions of the model by using individual-level data for 25 countries from the European Social Survey. Consistent with the theory, particularism is found to have a positive causal effect on the probability of offering a bribe, but no effect on the probability to be asked for a bribe. Overall, our findings indicate that policies aimed at favoring universalism may provide an effective tool in the fight against corruption.

Keywords: Corruption, Bribe, Particularism, Universalism.

JEL Classification: D73, O17, C71, K42, Z13.

Suggested Citation

Rotondi, Valentina and Stanca, Luca, The Effect of Particularism on Corruption: Theory and Empirical Evidence (February 27, 2015). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 294. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2571205 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2571205

Valentina Rotondi

Polytechnic University of Milan - Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering ( email )

Via Lambruschini 4C - building 26/A
Milano, 20156
Italy

National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research ( email )

47a, prospect Rimskogo-Korsakova
Saint-Petersburg, 190068
Russia

Luca Stanca (Contact Author)

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo, Nuovo I
Milan 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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