Cultures of Corruption: Diplomatic Parking Tickets

Tyler Cohen and Dan Drezner look at a paper by Ray Fisman and Edward Miguel of the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled “Cultures of Corruption: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets” [PDF].

Cohen sums up the research question thusly: “During a period of diplomatic parking immunity, the average Kuwaiti diplomat to the United Nations racked up 246 parking violations. No Swedish diplomat had any parking violations. This paper explores how that might possibly be the case.”

The basic findings are that there is a “tremendous persistence in corruption norms” and that “officials from countries that survey evidence indicates have less favorable popular views of the United States commit significantly more parking violations.” I suspect, however, that these two findings are essentially the same.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Politics 101,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Cernig says:

    Hi James,

    The basic findings are that there is a â??tremendous persistence in corruption normsâ?? and that â??officials from countries that survey evidence indicates have less favorable popular views of the United States commit significantly more parking violations.â?? I suspect, however, that these two findings are essentially the same.

    You mean like this?

    US diplomats who refuse to pay London’s traffic congestion charge are guilty of an “abuse of hospitality”, the city assembly’s transport spokesman says.

    Embassy staff are ignoring the £8-a-day charge, claiming they are immune from taxation in the UK under the terms of the relevant international convention.

    But London Assembly transport spokesman Murad Qureshi said the charge was for a “service”, rather than being a tax.

    Embassy staff reportedly owe £157,000 in unpaid fines dating back to July.

    I agree with you that this proves the Bush administration’s “culture of corruption” and would add that it also shows their ability to reinterpret any legislation they like so as to suit themselves.

    But I’m unsure whether you are saying US Embassy staff in London hate America or hate the UK.

    Can you clarify?

    Regards, Cernig (with tongue in cheek)