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Working paper

Values and Attitudes Towards Corruption: А Cross-Cultural Study in Four European Countries

This article analyses the association between personal values and the acceptability of corruption in Russia, France, Germany, and Latvia. Several studies show that cultural values can be related to the level of corruption in the countries at the societal level. We look at the following two questions: (1) Can universal personal values influence the acceptability of corruption for an individual? (2) Is such an influence the same in different countries? A specialized methodology for assessing the acceptability of corruption for an individual was developed and validated. Individual values were assessed using the methodology developed by Schwartz. The studies were conducted in Russia (N=269), France (N=108), Germany (N=101) and Latvia (N=178). The results show that individual values have more inverse correlations with the acceptance of corruption than direct ones. In other words, values play an important role in limiting corrupt behaviour, but not in stimulating it. We discuss the correlations between personal values and the acceptability of corruption and analyse the psychology of these relationships.