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Experiments in culture and corruption : a review

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  • Banuri, Sheheryar
  • Eckel, Catherine

Abstract

Two decades of empirical evaluation have shown that corruption has a negative impact on economic growth, political stability, judicial effectiveness, democratization, educational attainment, and equality of income. However, corruption exists, persists, and varies significantly by culture. Lab studies have recently come to the forefront in identifying both the incentives and disincentives for corrupt behavior. However, lab studies on culture and corruption have led to some puzzling, contradictory results. This paper begins with a discussion of non-experimental work in this area, and evaluates the experimental findings in the context of earlier research. The authors sketch out the channels through which culture interacts with corruption (through institutions and social norms), and argue that discrepancies in experimental results may be due to differences in design (including repetition or unobserved variation in beliefs) or to differences in the response to punishment across societies. In addition to exploring design-based reasons for previous contradictory findings, avenues for future research include: behavioral responses to different types of externalities; replicating results in different countries; and utilizing the lab to formulate effective anti-corruption measures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6064.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6064

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Keywords: Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Corruption&Anticorruption Law; Cultural Policy; Crime and Society; Social Accountability;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
  3. Cameron, Lisa & Chaudhuri, Ananish & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata, 2009. "Propensities to engage in and punish corrupt behavior: Experimental evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 843-851, August.
  4. Abigail Barr & Danila Serra, 2009. "The effects of externalities and framing on bribery in a petty corruption experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 488-503, December.
  5. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2009. "Subject pool effects in a corruption experiment: A comparison of Indonesian public servants and Indonesian students," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 113-132, March.
  6. repec:kap:expeco:v:11:y:2008:i:2:p:134-153 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Jordi Brandts & Carles Solà, 2006. "Personal Relations and their Effect on Behavior in an Organizational Setting: An Experimental Study," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 692.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Esther Hauk & Maria Sáez, 1999. "On the cultural transmission of corruption," Economics Working Papers 392, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Klaus Abbink & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2006. "Neutral versus loaded instructions in a bribery experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 103-121, June.
  10. Arai, Kazuhiro, 2006. "Trust, Cultural Devices, and Efficiency in Game Experiments," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 47(2), pages 249-264, December.
  11. Klaus Abbink, 2006. "Laboratory experiments on corruption," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-38, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  12. Danila Serra, 2005. "Empirical determinants of corruption: A sensitivity analysis," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-012, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. Abigail Barr & Danila Serra, 2008. "Corruption and culture: An Experimental Analysis," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-23, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  15. Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
  16. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, 09.
  17. Andvig, Jens Chr. & Moene, Karl Ove, 1990. "How corruption may corrupt," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 63-76, January.
  18. Michèle Belot & Jeroen van de Ven, 2011. "Friendships and Favouritism on the Schoolground – A Framed Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1228-1251, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Abbink, Klaus & Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Gangadharan, Lata & Jain, Tarun, 2012. "Letting the briber go free: an experiment on mitigating harassment bribes," MPRA Paper 42176, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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