When individuals exchange gifts, social bonds are strengthened and reciprocity is created. If the gift and the reciprocation both come from private resources, it is clearly a gift. If what is reciprocated after a gift is given comes from an organization, or is a government resource rather than from “one’s own pocket” then it is most likely a bribe. This study reviews the anthropological literature on gift giving and constructs a typology for examining the gift/bribe distinction in public administration. This classification helps distinguish analytically among different gift practices and clarify conceptual ambiguity of the terms gift and bribe.
- gift giving
- public administration