IZA DP No. 11594: Former Communist Party Membership and Bribery in the Post-Socialist Countries
published in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, 46 (4), 1411-1422
We study the effect of former Communist party membership on paying bribes to public officials and motivations for bribery, 25 years after the fall of communist rule. Data come from a large representative survey, conducted in post-socialist countries in 2015/16. To deal with endogeneity, we instrument party membership with information on whether family members were affected by the Second World War. Instrumental variable results suggest that links to the former Communist party increase the likelihood of paying bribes today; this result applies to the former party members as well as their children and relatives. Among bribe payers, people with the party links are more likely to offer bribes as well as think that bribe payments are expected. Overall, our findings suggest that the proclivity to corruption of the former Communist party members has been transmitted through family and thus sustained over time, contributing to corruption decades after the demise of the Socialist bloc.