Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • Maurizio LisciandraEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_702


Corruption can be generally intended as an (illicit) exchange between a member of an organization and another subject at the expense of either the organization itself or the rights of others, in which acts of power in contrast with official duty are exchanged for personal advantage. This general definition is usually narrowed to consider corruption as an act of misuse of public power for private profit against the common good. Sensu stricto, bribery is considered the only actual form of corruption. It consists of promising, offering, or giving, as well as soliciting or accepting, a corrupt exchange between some utility (e.g., kickbacks, gratuities, sweeteners) and the actions of individuals (e.g., bureaucrats, politicians, employees in private enterprises) in charge of a legal or public duty. Some habits, such as tipping, gift-giving, and patronage, may not be considered corruption per se, but they are corruption-like situations when they are intentionally conceived to...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly