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Identifying Reticent Respondents: Assessing the Quality of Survey Data on Corruption and Values

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  • Omar Azfar
  • Peter Murrell

Abstract

We implement a methodology that identifies respondents who are reticent in answering sensitive questions on surveys. The methodology entails asking a series of randomized response questions and identifies the reticent as those who give a set of answers that can arise only with an implausibly low probability. In a sample of Romanian company officials, we identify a specific 10% of respondents as reticent. The identifiably reticent admit to corruption interactions significantly less often than others. On values questions, they claim to be of higher moral virtue than the average respondent. We show that reticence is related to the respondent's age, the reticence of others in the region, and region itself. Our results suggest a method of improving the accuracy of survey data on corruption and values, as well as caution in interpreting the causes of cross-country differences in such data. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 57 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (01)
Pages: 387-411

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:57:y:2009:i:2:p:387-411

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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Cited by:
  1. Olken, Benjamin A., 2009. "Corruption perceptions vs. corruption reality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 950-964, August.
  2. Clarke, George, 2012. "Manufacturing firms in Africa: Some stylized facts about wages and productivity," MPRA Paper 36122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Clarke, George, 2010. "Are Managers’ Perceptions of Constraints to Growth Reliable? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in South Africa," MPRA Paper 20098, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Clarke, George, 2008. "How petty is petty corruption? Evidence from firm survey in Africa," MPRA Paper 15073, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Aug 2008.
  5. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2008. "Governance Indicators: Where Are We, Where Should We Be Going?," MPRA Paper 8212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Heath, Rachel, 2014. "Women’s Access to Labor Market Opportunities, Control of Household Resources, and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 32-46.
  7. Clarke, George, 2012. "Do reticent managers lie during firm surveys?," MPRA Paper 37634, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jensen, Nathan M & Rahman, Aminur, 2011. "The silence of corruption : identifying underreporting of business corruption through randomized response techniques," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5696, The World Bank.
  9. World Bank, 2008. "Bulgaria - Investment Climate Assessment : Volume 2. Detailed Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7868, The World Bank.
  10. World Bank, 2011. "Republic of Tajikistan - Country Economic Memorandum : Tajikistan’s Quest for Growth: Stimulating Private Investment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2761, The World Bank.
  11. Olivier Armantier & Amadou Boly, 2008. "Can Corruption Be Studied in the Lab? Comparing a Field and a Lab Experiment," CIRANO Working Papers 2008s-26, CIRANO.
  12. Clarke, George, 2011. "Lying about firm performance: Evidence from a survey in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 35382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Elizabeth Asiedu & James Freeman, 2008. "The Effect of Corruption on Investment Growth: Evidence from Firms in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Transition Countries," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 200802, University of Kansas, Department of Economics.

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