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Asymmetric Punishment as an Instrument of Corruption Control

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  • KARNA BASU
  • KAUSHIK BASU
  • TITO CORDELLA

Abstract

The control of bribery is a policy objective in many developing countries. It has been argued that asymmetric punishments could reduce bribery by incentivizing whistle-blowing. This paper investigates the role played by asymmetric punishment in a setting where bribe size is determined by Nash bargaining, detection is costly, and detection rates are set endogenously. First, when detection rates are fixed, the symmetry properties of punishment are irrelevant to bribery. Bribery disappears if expected penalties are sufficiently high; otherwise, bribe sizes rise as expected penalties rise. Second, when detection rates are determined by the bribe-giver, a switch from symmetric to asymmetric punishment either eliminates bribery or allows it to persist with larger bribe sizes. Furthermore, when bribery persists, multiple bribe sizes could survive in equilibrium. The paper derives parameter values under which each of these outcomes occurs and discusses how these could be interpreted in the context of existing institutions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Karna Basu & Kaushik Basu & Tito Cordella, 2016. "Asymmetric Punishment as an Instrument of Corruption Control," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(6), pages 831-856, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:18:y:2016:i:6:p:831-856
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jpet.2016.18.issue-6
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    Cited by:

    1. Gamba, Astrid & Immordino, Giovanni & Piccolo, Salvatore, 2018. "Corruption, organized crime and the bright side of subversion of law," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 79-88.
    2. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Radoniqi, Fatos, 2021. "Republic of Beliefs: An Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 14130, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Basu,Kaushik, 2015. "The republic of beliefs : a new approach to ?law and economics?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7259, The World Bank.
    4. Sergey V. Popov, 2016. "On Basu's Proposal: Fines Affect Bribes," Economics Working Papers 16-04, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast.
    5. Roberto Burguet & Juan José Ganuza & José Garcia Montalvo, 2016. "The microeconomics of corruption. A review of thirty years of research," Economics Working Papers 1525, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    6. Perrotta Berlin, Maria & Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Qin, Bei, 2015. "Leniency, Asymmetric Punishment and Corruption: Evidence from China," SITE Working Paper Series 34, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 25 May 2017.
    7. Dhammika Dharmapala & Vikramaditya Khanna, 2017. "Stock Market Reactions to India's 2016 Demonetization: Implications for Tax Evasion, Corruption, and Financial Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 6707, CESifo.
    8. Adriana Gama & Isabelle Maret & Virginie Masson, 2019. "Endogenous heterogeneity in duopoly with deterministic one-way spillovers," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 103-123, March.
    9. Benjamin Florian Siggelkow & Jan Trockel & Oliver Dieterle, 2018. "An inspection game of internal audit and the influence of whistle-blowing," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 88(7), pages 883-914, September.
    10. Astrid Gamba & Giovanni Immordino & Salvatore Piccolo, 2016. "Organized Crime and the Bright Side of Subversion of Law," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def039, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    11. Avinash K. Dixit, 2015. "How Business Community Institutions Can Help Fight Corruption," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(suppl_1), pages 25-47.
    12. Dimant, Eugen & Deutscher, Christian, 2014. "The Economics of Corruption in Sports – The Special Case of Doping," MPRA Paper 60566, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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