In a 2011 paper, Kaushik Basu argued that “harassment bribes”—bribes that people give to officials in order to get what they are legally entitled to—should be treated as legal. The reasoning is as follows:
Under the current law [treated as illegal], … once a bribe is given, the bribe giver and the bribe taker become partners in crime. …
Under the new law [treated as illegal], when a person gives a bribe, she will try to keep evidence of the act of bribery so that immediately after the bribery she can turn informer and get the bribe taker caught. The upshot of this is not that the bribe taker will get caught but he will not take the bribe in the first place.
Thanks to JP Koning.