Why conduct in some societies is dominated by law- abiding behavior while corruption is the norm in others.
What stops Philadelphians from offering twenty- dollars to policemen who pull them over for speeding, while such transactions are the norm on the chaotic roads of Delhi, Lahore —or for that matter, China?
My Philadelphian friend told me it is because you know that it’s likely to buy you a first- hand look at prison in US if you offer a bribe. By contrast, not only can you rightly assume you’ll get away with bribing a policeman in Delhi, it’s actually expected of you.
So Reason 1: Weak law enforcement is the reason for lawlessness in India. Alright point taken. In fact my Philadelphian friend also gave me reasons for why we have Weak law enforcement. “Policeman’s monthly salary is so meager that he needs extra cash to feed his family.” By that logic, I am probably more likely to get in trouble with the police authorities in Dhaka if I don’t pay a bribe than if I do.
So in a nutshell, in some places, the necessities of daily existence turn ordinary folk into rule- breaking economic gangsters. Fair point
But, is corruption simply a matter of weak law enforcement, or do background experiences (Culture) also affect the decision to behave corruptly?
To understand the role of culture alone, we need to somehow put Philadelphians in an environment with weak legal enforcement to find out what American conscience and social norms—and not the American police—tell them what to do. But alas, Philadelphians are not lab rats and hence our curiosity about the impact of culture versus law enforcement will – probably – not get answered.
Or do you have a fair explanation on the subject?