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A controlled field experiment on corruption

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  • Armantier, Olivier
  • Boly, Amadou

Abstract

This paper reports on a controlled field experiment on corruption designed to address two important issues: the experimenter's scrutiny and the unobservability of corruption. In the experiment, a grader is offered a bribe along with a demand for a better grade. We find that graders respond more favorably to bigger bribes, while the effect of higher wages is ambiguous: it lowers the bribe's acceptance, but it fosters reciprocation. Monitoring and punishment can deter corruption, but we cannot reject that it may also crowd-out intrinsic motivations for honesty when intensified. Finally, our results suggest several micro-determinants of corruption including age, ability, religiosity, but not gender.

Suggested Citation

  • Armantier, Olivier & Boly, Amadou, 2011. "A controlled field experiment on corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1072-1082.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:8:p:1072-1082
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2011.04.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Engel, 2016. "Experimental Criminal Law. A Survey of Contributions from Law, Economics and Criminology," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Borcan, Oana & Lindahl, Mikael & Mitrut, Andreea, 2014. "The impact of an unexpected wage cut on corruption: Evidence from a “Xeroxed” exam," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 32-47.
    3. Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Eliciting beliefs: Proper scoring rules, incentives, stakes and hedging," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 17-40.
    4. Gouda Moamen & Park Sang-Min, 2015. "Religious Loyalty and Acceptance of Corruption," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(2), pages 184-206, April.
    5. Ye-Feng Chen & Shu-Guang Jiang & Marie Claire Villeval, 2015. "The Tragedy of Corruption. Corruption as a social dilemma," Working Papers 1531, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    6. Leonid V. Peisakhin, 2011. "Field Experimentation and the Study of Corruption," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Chen, Yefeng & Jiang, Shuguang & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2016. "The Tragedy of Corruption," IZA Discussion Papers 10175, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Michael Breen & Robert Gillanders & Gemma Mcnulty & Akisato Suzuki, 2017. "Gender and Corruption in Business," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(9), pages 1486-1501, September.
    9. Denisova-Schmidt, Elena & Huber, Martin & Prytula, Yaroslav, 2015. "An experimental evaluation of an anti-corruption intervention among Ukrainian university students," FSES Working Papers 462, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    10. repec:mgt:youmng:v:12:y:2017:i:4:p:355-374 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. You, Jing & Nie, Huihua, 2017. "Who determines Chinese firms' engagement in corruption: Themselves or neighbors?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-46.
    12. Olivier Armantier & Amadou Boly, 2014. "On the effects of incentive framing on bribery: evidence from an experiment in Burkina Faso," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, February.
    13. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:57:y:2019:i:1:p:206-226 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Adam Salisbury, 2018. "Cutting the Head off the Snake: An Empirical Investigation of Hierarchical Corruption in Burkina Faso," CSAE Working Paper Series 2018-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    15. Shaw, Philip & Vásquez, William F. & LeClair, Mark, 2013. "Intelligence and bribing behavior in a one-shot game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 91-96.
    16. Olivier Armantier & Amadou Boly, 2013. "Comparing Corruption in the Laboratory and in the Field in Burkina Faso and in Canada," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1168-1187, December.
    17. David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "Gender Differences in Competitive and Non Competitive Environments: An Experimental Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201236, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    18. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Abbink, Klaus & Wu, Kevin, 2017. "Reward self-reporting to deter corruption: An experiment on mitigating collusive bribery," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 256-272.
    20. Denisova-Schmidt, Elena & Huber, Martin & Leontyeva, Elvira & Solovyeva, Anna, 2017. "Combining experimental evidence with machine learning to assess anti-corruption educational campaigns among Russian university students," FSES Working Papers 487, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    21. Beekman, Gonne & Bulte, Erwin & Nillesen, Eleonora, 2014. "Corruption, investments and contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence from rural Liberia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 37-47.
    22. Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez & Luis A. Mejia, 2016. "Does corruption affect cooperation? A laboratory experiment," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 25(1), pages 1-19, December.
    23. repec:kap:jbuset:v:151:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3245-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:mgt:youmng:v:12:y:2017:i:4:p:375-389 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Experimental economics; Field experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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