Thursday, December 21, 2006


In an ideologically loaded article, the Economist looks at the near-universal institution of bribery, with some interesting cross-cultural comparisons. About halfway into the article, while discussing journalists being at the receiving end of bribes, you get this touching bit of candour:

The Economist lays down clear rules for its journalists. An envelope stuffed with cash, much less a $240,000 contract, would be inappropriate. Any gift, says the policy, must be consumable in a single day. So a bottle of wine is acceptable, a case of wine is not.


  1. Tabula Rasa said...

    i just spent a pleasant five minutes thinking about the things i could consume in a day. funny that a hundred dollar bottle of scotch sneaks under the bar while a 24-pack of bud lite might not. (actually, personally speaking, even half a can of bud lite wouldn't.)

  2. gaddeswarup said...

    I wonder whether this is inevitable in any system. Do you have some idea howit works in the social democracies in Scandinavia (In case, if you know offhand) ?

  3. Abi said...

    TR: Yes, one can have a wonderful time with all those things one can consume in a day. The Economist is quite rational, and it takes good care of its journalists ...

    Swarup: All I know is that on various measures of corruption, the Scandinavian countries are found to be among the least corrupt. These are in-country comparisons.

    I'm sure you are aware of this study on the parking violations in NY City by UN officials (with diplomatic visas) from various countries. Scandinavian countries seem to be among the least corrupt even outside their home country!

    Now, did someone just say Bofors?