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Corruption in public service delivery: An experimental analysis

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Author Info

  • Barr, Abigail
  • Lindelow, Magnus
  • Serneels, Pieter

Abstract

To improve our understanding of corruption in service delivery, we use a newly designed game that allows us to investigate the effects of the institutional environment on the behavior of service providers and their monitors. We focus on the effect of four different factors: whether monitors are accountable to the service recipients, the degree of observability of service providers' effort, the providers' wages and the providers' professional norms. In accordance with theory, we find that service providers perform better when monitors are elected by service recipients and when their effort is more easily observed. However, there is only weak evidence that service providers perform better when paid more. Monitors are more vigilant when elected and when service providers are paid more. Playing the game with Ethiopian nursing students, we also find that those with greater exposure to the Ethiopian public health sector perform less well, either as provider or as monitor, when the experiment is framed as a public health provision scenario, suggesting that experience and norms affect behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 72 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 225-239

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:72:y:2009:i:1:p:225-239

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Corruption Experiment;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oana Borcan & Mikael Lindahl & Andreea Mitrut, 2012. "The Impact of an Unexpected Wage Cut on Corruption: Evidence from a "Xeroxed" Exam," CESifo Working Paper Series 4038, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Daniel Kaufmann & Pedro C. Vicente, 2011. "Legal Corruption," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 195-219, 07.
  3. Fabio Galeotti & Daniel John Zizzo, 2014. "Competence versus Trustworthiness: What Do Voters Care About?," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 060, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  4. van Veldhuizen, R., 2013. "The influence of wages on public officials’ corruptibility: A laboratory investigation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 341-356.
  5. Timothy C. Salmon & Danila Serra, 2013. "Does Social Judgement Diminish Rule Breaking?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. repec:dgr:uvatin:2012038 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Collier, Paul, 2012. "How to Spend it: The organization of public spending and aid effectivenes," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. Bobkova, Nina & Egbert, Henrik, 2012. "Corruption investigated in the lab: a survey of the experimental literature," MPRA Paper 38163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Bratton, Michael, 2013. "Measuring government performance in public opinion surveys in Africa: Towards experiments?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2011. "Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2011-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Roel van Veldhuizen, 2012. "The Influence of Wages on Public Officials' Corruptibility: A Laboratory Investigation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-038/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2013. "The influence of wages on public officials' corruptibility: A laboratory investigation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-210, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  13. Armantier, Olivier & Boly, Amadou, 2011. "A controlled field experiment on corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1072-1082.

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