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SPP 517

Author: Richard Rose and Caryn Peiffer
Description: To understand the process of bribery we need to integrate measures of individual behaviour and institutional attributes rather than rely exclusively on micro or macro-level measures. Indexes of corruption in national institutions cannot explain how individuals within a country differ in the likelihood of paying a bribe. This paper shows that both what country you live in and who you are together influence whether a person pays a bribe through the analysis of 76 nationwide Global Corruption Barometer surveys from six continents. Multi-level multivariate logit analysis tests four hypotheses. It finds that path-determined histories of early bureaucratization or colonialism have a major impact after controlling for individual differences. At the individual level, people who perceive government as corrupt and frequently make use of public services are more likely to pay bribes, while socio-economic inequality has no significant influence. Since institutional history cannot be changed, the conclusion shows how changing the design of public services is more likely to reduce behavioural tendencies to pay bribes than relying on changes in individual attitudes and resources.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland