Some bribes can help Third World countries get ahead and can make a "positive contribution to society," a politics professor writes in a magazine published by an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
David Osterfeld, who teaches politics at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., argues that it is useful to a country if a government charges $1,000 for a license to enter an occupation but an official issues one for a bribe of $900."The reduced cost facilitates entry into the field, thereby introducing an element of competition into an otherwise monopolistic situation," he says in an article called "Corruption and Development."
Osterfeld's article appears in the current issue of the quarterly "Journal of Economic Growth," published by the National Chamber Foundation.
The trade bill now awaiting President Reagan's signature will ease the effect of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and make it easier for executives here to defend themselves when their agents are charged with paying bribes abroad.
Osterfeld doesn't defend all bribes, saying some are "wicked."