We argue that personal (e.g., age, gender and education) and circumstantial (e.g., bureaucratic rank and sector of employment) factors affect the cost and the benefit of bribe-taking by the bureaucrats. The bureaucrat’s bribe-taking decision is modeled. A unique data set is used to test the predictions of the model. The empirical findings include that education reduces, but power (measured by rank and sector of work) increases, the magnitude of bribe-taking. Age affects bribe-taking in a more subtle way. Gender does not affect it in a statistically significant way. Our study of corruption at the individual level complements the literature studying corruption at country and industry levels.
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