This paper uses the new literature on norms and rationality to explore why societies develop widespread corruption as a means of organizing economic activity. Paying particular attention to the post-socialist world, it explores the evolution of these norms as part of a more general development of flexible responses to rigid assignments of property rights. The emergence of a strong norm against attending to formal legal rules makes the unwinding of such "corrupt" practices and expectations especially problematic.

Paul B. Stephan, Rationality and Corruption in the Post-Socialist World, 14 Connecticut Journal of International Law, 533–550 (1999).