IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Corrupt reciprocity - Experimental evidence on a men's game

  • Lambsdorff, Johann Graf
  • Frank, Björn

Why are women regarded to be more resistant towards corruption? We address this question by letting students allotted the role of public servants receive a bribe and choose between reporting (whistleblowing), opportunism and reciprocity (delivery of a contract to the briber). Those acting as businesspersons choose whether or not to publicize at the end of the game. Male businesspersons more often depart from maximizing payoffs and allocate resources to punishing opportunistic public servants. Instead of acting opportunistically, some public servants tend to reciprocate or report. We find that female public servants are less inclined to reciprocate. Their resistance towards corruption is found to relate less to a willingness to report. Survey data from international households shows that men are more confident that bribes will be reciprocated, supporting our results.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 116-125

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:31:y:2011:i:2:p:116-125
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Solnick, Sara J, 2001. "Gender Differences in the Ultimatum Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 189-200, April.
  2. Fernanda Rivas, 2006. "An experiment on corruption and gender," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0806, Department of Economics - dECON.
  3. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Anand Swamy & Stephen Knack & Young Lee & Omar Azfar, 2000. "Gender and Corruption," Center for Development Economics 158, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Bolle, Friedel, 1990. "High reward experiments without high expenditure for the experimenter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 157-167, June.
  6. Barr, Abigail & Serra, Danila, 2010. "Corruption and culture: An experimental analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 862-869, December.
  7. Klaus Abbink & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2002. "Neutral versus Loaded Instructions in a Bribery Experiment," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse23_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. 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.
  9. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Heckman, James J. & Meijers, Huub, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 3985, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Nicolas Jacquemet, 2005. "Corruption as Betrayal : Experimental Evidence on Corruption Under Delegation," Post-Print halshs-00180044, HAL.
  11. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf, 2002. "Making corrupt deals: contracting in the shadow of the law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 221-241, July.
  12. Bj�rn Frank & Johann Graf Lambsdorff & Fr�d�ric Boehm, 2011. "Gender and Corruption: Lessons from Laboratory Corruption Experiments," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(1), pages 59-71, February.
  13. Schulze, Günther G. & Frank, Björn, 2000. "Deterrence versus intrinsic motivation: Experimental evidence on the determinants of corruptility," Discussion Papers, Series I 303, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  14. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  15. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000. "The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
  16. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
  17. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2003. "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 20-26, January.
  18. Ogilvie Sheilagh, 2005. "The Use and Abuse of Trust: Social Capital and its Deployment by Early Modern Guilds," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 46(1), pages 15-52, June.
  19. Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity," Working Papers 200903, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  20. 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, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  21. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2009. "Gender, Culture, and Corruption: Insights from an Experimental Analysis," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 663–680, January.
  22. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  23. Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
  24. Parchomovsky, Gideon & Siegelman, Peter, 2009. "Bribes vs. bombs: A study in Coasean warfare," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 179-190, September.
  25. James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2006. "When Are Women More Generous than Men?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 587-598, October.
  26. Abbink, Klaus & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 1999. "An Experimental Bribery Game," Discussion Paper Serie B 459, University of Bonn, Germany.
  27. Kingston, Christopher, 2007. "Parochial corruption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 73-87, May.
  28. Klaus Abbink, 2006. "Laboratory experiments on corruption," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-38, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  29. Lambsdorff,Johann Graf, 2007. "The Institutional Economics of Corruption and Reform," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521872751, October.
  30. 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.
  31. Benno Torgler & Neven T. Valev, 2006. "Women and Illegal Activities: Gender Differences and Women?s Willingness to Comply over Time," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-15, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  32. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:31:y:2011:i:2:p:116-125. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.