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Corrupt reciprocity: An experiment

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  • Graf Lambsdorff, Johann
  • 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 by delivery (of a contract) and those acting as businesspeople chose how to frame the game and whether to blow the whistle. While opportunism and abstaining from whistleblowing is the Nash equilibrium, another likely outcome was that businesspeople allocate resources to punishing public servants for non-delivery, exhibiting a preference for negative reciprocity. Anticipating this, public servants might tend to reciprocate or blow the whistle upfront. Female public servants were more inclined to behave opportunistically; female businesspeople were less engaged in negative reciprocity. This corroborates a favorable role of women in anticorruption. Businesspeople who strongly preferred a corrupt framing of the game and obtained a form with corrupt wording were more willing to punish non-delivering public servants. This operates against camouflaging a bribe as a gift, because gifts fail to signal negative reciprocity. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics in its series Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe with number V-51-07.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:upadvr:v5107

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Web page: http://www.wiwi.uni-passau.de/index.php?L=2
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Related research

Keywords: Corruption; ultimatum game; whistleblowing; gender; signaling; trust;

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References

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  1. M. Fernanda Rivas, 2013. "An Experiment On Corruption And Gender," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 10-42, 01.
  2. 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, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 843-851, August.
  3. Klaus Abbink & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2002. "Neutral versus Loaded Instructions in a Bribery Experiment," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers, University of Bonn, Germany bgse23_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Bjorn Frank & Guenther G. Schulze, 2000. "Deterrence versus Intrinsic Motivation: Experimental Evidence on the Determinants of Corruptibility," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers, Econometric Society 0950, Econometric Society.
  5. Abbink, Klaus & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 1999. "An Experimental Bribery Game," Discussion Paper Serie B, University of Bonn, Germany 459, University of Bonn, Germany.
  6. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000. "The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
  7. Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
  8. 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, The University of Melbourne 943, The University of Melbourne.
  9. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf, 2002. "Making corrupt deals: contracting in the shadow of the law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 221-241, July.
  10. Nicolas Jacquemet, 2005. "Corruption as Betrayal : Experimental Evidence on Corruption Under Delegation," Working Papers, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure 0506, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  11. 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.
  12. Klaus Abbink, 2006. "Laboratory experiments on corruption," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series, Monash University, Department of Economics archive-38, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  13. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Armantier, Olivier & Boly, Amadou, 2011. "A controlled field experiment on corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1072-1082.
  2. Christoph Engel & Sebastian Goerg & Gaoneng Yu, 2012. "Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Punishment Regimes for Bribery," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_01, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised May 2013.
  3. Nell, Mathias, 2007. "Strategic aspects of voluntary disclosure programs for corruption offences: Towards a design of good practice," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-52-07, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.

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