Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Corruption Experiences and Attitudes to Political, Interpersonal, and Domestic Violence

Gillanders, Robert and van der Werff, Lisa (2020): Corruption Experiences and Attitudes to Political, Interpersonal, and Domestic Violence.

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It is well understood that corruption can change the incentives to engage in political violence. However, the scope for corruption to change attitudes towards the permissibility of violence has received less attention. Drawing on Moral Foundations Theory, we argue that experiences of corruption in the social environment are likely to shape individual attitudes towards violent behavior. Using data from the Afrobarometer, we document a statistically significant and sizable relationship between an individual’s experience of paying bribes and their attitudes to political, interpersonal, and domestic violence. These relationships are evident for both men and women and, with the exception of women’s attitudes to domestic violence, are robust to the inclusion of variables capturing the local incidence of corruption, local norms regarding violence, and a proxy for the local incidence of violence with the community. We find that corruption is associated with permissive attitudes to violence even after controlling for the perceived legitimacy of the police and courts.

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