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date: 17 September 2019


A Dictionary of Business and Management in the Middle East and North Africa

Mark Neal


A form of tipping or payment for a service or product that is additional to the usual system of market prices. The term has its origins in Persian and the practice is widespread throughout the Middle East. In its non-charitable form, baksheesh is often characterized as a form of endemic corruption, particularly at the petty corruption level. The system and expectations of baksheesh mean additional costs for consumers, administrators, and investors on top of the usual market system of prices. It is therefore recognized as being problematic in terms of economic and social development and as being an obstacle (and cost) for foreign investors and business people in their dealings with service providers and local and national governments.