Delegation and Rewards
AbstractWe study experimentally whether anti-corruption policies with a focus on bribery might be insufficient to uncover more subtle ways of gaining an unfair advantage. In particular, we investigate whether an implicit agreement to exchange favors between a decision-maker and a lobbying party serves as a legal substitute for corruption. Due to the obvious lack of field data on these activities, the laboratory provides an excellent opportunity to study this question. We find that even the pure anticipation of future rewards from a lobbying party suffices to bias a decision-maker in favor of this party, even though it creates negative externalities to others. Although future rewards are not contractible, the benefitting party voluntarily compensates decision-makers for partisan choices. In this way, both receive higher payoffs, but aggregate welfare is lower than without a rewards channel. Thus, the outcome mirrors what might have been achieved via conventional bribing, while not being illegal.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12884.
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
delegation; gift exchange; corruption; lobbying; negative externalities;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2012-04-17 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2012-04-17 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-POL-2012-04-17 (Positive Political Economics)
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