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Bribing versus gift-giving - An experiment

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  • Lambsdorff, Johann Graf
  • Frank, Björn

Abstract

We let students play a corruption game, embedded into a variant of the ultimatum game. Those allotted the role of public servants chose between whistleblowing, opportunism and reciprocity (delivery of a contract) and those acting as businesspeople chose how to frame the game (calling their payment either a gift or a bribe) and whether to blow the whistle at the end of the game. Opportunism and abstaining from whistleblowing is the Nash equilibrium. In line with widespread experimental evidence we find instead that businesspeople and public servants depart from maximizing payoffs. Businesspeople who strongly preferred to call the payment a bribe were more willing to punish non-delivering public servants. Translated to the real world, this finding reveals that gift-giving is a less effective method for influencing public servants because gifts fail to signal businesspeople's willingness to retaliate opportunism.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 347-357

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:347-357

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

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Keywords: Crime prevention Corruption Experiment Framing Opportunism;

References

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  1. Klaus Abbink & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2006. "Neutral versus loaded instructions in a bribery experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 103-121, June.
  2. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2004. "The Use and Abuse of Trust: Social Capital and its Deployment by Early Modern Guilds," CESifo Working Paper Series 1302, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Günther G. Schulze & Björn Frank, 2003. "Deterrence versus intrinsic motivation: Experimental evidence on the determinants of corruptibility," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 143-160, 08.
  4. Lambsdorff, Johann & Nell, Mathias, 2007. "Fighting corruption with asymmetric penalties and leniency," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 59, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
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  7. Klaus Abbink, 2006. "Laboratory experiments on corruption," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-38, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  8. Abbink, Klaus, 2004. "Staff rotation as an anti-corruption policy: an experimental study," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 887-906, November.
  9. Nicolas Jacquemet, 2005. "Corruption as Betrayal : Experimental Evidence on Corruption Under Delegation," Post-Print halshs-00180044, HAL.
  10. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," IEW - Working Papers 017, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Bolle, Friedel, 1990. "High reward experiments without high expenditure for the experimenter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 157-167, June.
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  13. Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
  14. Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 2002. "An Experimental Bribery Game," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 428-454, October.
  15. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  16. L. Cameron & A. Chaudhuri & N. Erkal & L. Gangadharan, 2005. "Do Attitudes Towards Corruption Differ Across Cultures? Experimental Evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia andSingapore," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 943, The University of Melbourne.
  17. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000. "The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
  18. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf, 2002. "Making corrupt deals: contracting in the shadow of the law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 221-241, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Danila Serra, 2008. "Combining Top-down and Bottom-up Accountability: Evidence from a Bribery Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-25, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Abbink, Klaus & Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Gangadharan, Lata & Jain, Tarun, 2014. "Letting the briber go free: An experiment on mitigating harassment bribes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 17-28.
  3. Vetter, Stefan, 2012. "Delegation and Rewards," Discussion Papers in Economics 12884, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Djawadi, Behnud Mir & Fahr, René, 2013. "The Impact of Risk Perception and Risk Attitudes on Corrupt Behavior: Evidence from a Petty Corruption Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7383, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Siegfried K. Berninghaus & Sven Haller & Tyll Krüger & Thomas Neumann & Stephan Schosser & Bodo Vogt, 2012. "Risk Attitude, Beliefs, and Information in a Corruption Game - An Experimental Analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-033, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  6. Vetter, Stefan, 2012. "Delegation and Rewards," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 378, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  7. Vetter, Stefan, 2013. "Delegating decision rights for anticipated rewards as an alternative to corruption: An experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 188-204.
  8. Olivier Armantier & Amadou Boly, 2014. "On the effects of incentive framing on bribery: evidence from an experiment in Burkina Faso," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, February.
  9. Bj�rn Frank & Johann Graf Lambsdorff & Fr�d�ric Boehm, 2011. "Gender and Corruption: Lessons from Laboratory Corruption Experiments," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(1), pages 59-71, February.
  10. Bobkova, Nina & Egbert, Henrik, 2012. "Corruption investigated in the lab: a survey of the experimental literature," MPRA Paper 38163, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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