Bribery in preindustrial societies: understanding the universalism-particularism puzzle

Journal of Anthropological Research Vol/Iss. 70 Published In Pages: 263-284
By Rothstein, Bo, Torsello, Davide


"In a culture in which private and public goods are neatly separated both conceptually and customarily (i.e., in their access and management), there will be fewer problems in distinguishing what is corruption and what is not" (265).


Agriculturalists/Commercial economies have the highest amount of bribery and pastoralist societies have the lowest amount of bribery. These findings support the hypothesis because agriculturalists/commercial economies have the most varied public and private goods arrangements and pastoralists have the least ambiguity between public and private goods.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Comparison of percentagesPartially supportedUNKNOWNUNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
BriberyDependentExploitation, Political Intrigue
Separation Of Public And Private GoodsIndependentNONE