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

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  • Omar Azfar

    ()
    (IRIS Center, Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

  • Peter Murrell

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

Abstract

Randomized response methods, which were designed to elicit candid answers to sensitive questions, have not succeeded in eliminating reticence in survey responses. We implement a methodology that effectively stands the randomized response technique on its head, using it to identify reticent respondents. In a sample of Romanian company officials, we identify a specific 10% of respondents as reticent with near certainty and estimate that roughly 40% of the whole sample were actually reticent. The identifiably reticent respondents admit to corruption interactions significantly less often than others do. They are also more likely to state that it is impermissible to break socially beneficial rules. We show that reticence is related to the respondent's age and the colonial heritage of the respondent's region. These results suggest some difficulties in making cross-country comparisons of corruption and of values using the types of survey data often employed in social science research and policy analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics in its series Electronic Working Papers with number 05-001.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:umd:umdeco:05-001

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
Web page: http://www.econ.umd.edu/

Order Information:
Postal: Ms. Elizabeth Martinez, Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
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Related research

Keywords: corruption; survey methods; randomized response; regulation; Romania;

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Cited by:
  1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2007. "Governance indicators : where are we, where should we be going ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4370, The World Bank.
  2. Benjamin Olken, 2006. "Corruption perceptions vs. corruption reality," Natural Field Experiments 00318, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Clarke George R, 2011. "Are Managers' Perceptions of Constraints to Growth Reliable? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in South Africa," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Clarke, George, 2012. "Do reticent managers lie during firm surveys?," MPRA Paper 37634, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  7. Clarke, George, 2012. "Manufacturing firms in Africa: Some stylized facts about wages and productivity," MPRA Paper 36122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. Clarke, George R.G., 2011. "How Petty is Petty Corruption? Evidence from Firm Surveys in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1122-1132, July.
  12. World Bank, 2008. "Bulgaria - Investment Climate Assessment : Volume 2. Detailed Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7868, The World Bank.
  13. Clarke, George, 2011. "Lying about firm performance: Evidence from a survey in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 35382, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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