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Neutral versus loaded instructions in a bribery experiment

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  • Klaus Abbink

    ()

  • Heike Hennig-Schmidt

    ()

Abstract

This paper contributes to the ongoing methodological debate on context-free versus in-context presentation of experimental tasks. We report an experiment using the paradigm of a bribery experiment. In one condition, the task is presented in a typical bribery context, the other one uses abstract wording. Though the underlying context is heavily loaded with negative ethical preconceptions, we do not find significant differences with our 18 independent observations per treatment. We conjecture that the experimental design transmits the essential features of a bribery situation already with neutral framing, such that the presentation does not add substantially to subjects’ interpretation of the task. Copyright Economic Science Association 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Abbink & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2006. "Neutral versus loaded instructions in a bribery experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(2), pages 103-121, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:9:y:2006:i:2:p:103-121
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-006-5385-z
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Context; Framing; Valence; Experimental Instructions; Laboratory; Trust; Reciprocity; Ethical Behaviour; Social Norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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