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What’s Behind the Endemic Nature of Bribery: Poverty

Matt Kelly | August 31, 2015

Building an ethics & compliance program is no easy task under the best of circumstances, and let’s be honest—when building them in emerging markets, you are nowhere near the best of circumstances.

That thought struck me as I read a short item earlier today on the FCPA Blog written by Aaron Bornstein, an economic development specialist who spent several years trying to foster anti-corruption programs in Cambodia. Aptly titled, “Was my anti-bribery fight just dust in the wind?” he neatly captures the sense of frustration many chief compliance officers feel. Companies spend immense amounts of time and money trying to build anti-corruption programs, and nobody doubts that these programs are crucial to improving the lot of impoverished people around the world—yet bribes still seem to happen all the time. Why?

Bornstein skims across one reason when he...

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