Working Paper No. 564

On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption

Published: October 3, 2001 Pages: 25Keywords: Corruption, Cultural Transmission; Education; EthicsJEL-codes: D10; J13

On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption Ester Hauk and María Sáez-Martí


We provide a cultural explanation to the phenomenon of corruption in the framework of an overlapping generations model with intergenerational transmission of values. We show that the economy has two steady states with different levels of corruption. The driving force in the equilibrium selection process is the education effort exerted by parents which depends on the distribution of ethics in the population and on expectations about future policies. We propose some policy interventions which via parents' efforts have long-lasting effects on corruption and show the success of intensive education campaigns. Educating the young is a key element in reducing corruption successfully. 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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