Legalization Of Bribe Giving When Bribe Type Is Endogenous

Research Seminars
Mandar Oak, School of Economics, University of Adelaide
June 14, 2013 | 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Friday
AC 2 Mini Lecture Theatre (MLT), Hyderabad, India
For ISB Community
Abstract: In a recent paper, Basu (2011) argues that for a class of bribes, called harassment bribes, legalization of bribe giving, but not bribe taking, will reduce bribery. We examine the applicability of Basu's insight in a realistically complex environment in which the type of the bribe-harassment or non-harassment-is endogenously determined, and it is not feasible to legalize the giving of non-harassment bribes. We find that in such environment Basu's proposal, in and of itself, yields mixed results: in one case it reduces even the prevalence of non-harassment bribes, and improves social welfare. However, in another case it is shown to be counter-productive, i.e., it reduces social welfare while failing to eliminate bribery. Our analysis finds parameter values which determine which of the two cases will prevail, and points to additional policies aimed at strengthening the legal institutions which, in conjunction with Basu's proposal, will help reduce bribery.