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Understanding Corruption and Corruptibility Through Experiments

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  • Libor Dušek
  • Andreas Ortman
  • Lubomír Lízal

Abstract

Corruption and corruptibility - due to their illegal and therefore secretive nature - are difficult to be assessed either with traditional tools, such as hard data on criminal convictions or soft data elicited through opinion polls, questionnaires, or case studies. While there seems to be agreement nowadays that corruption does have a negative impact on (foreign) private investment and growth, government revenue and infrastructure, and social equality, and while there seems to be evidence that low economic development, federal structure and short histories of experience with democracy and free trade all favour corruption on the macro-level, it is poorly understood what exactly, on the micro-level, the determinants of corruptibility are and what institutional arrangements could be used to fight (the causes of) corruption. In this article we review a third, complementary mode of investigation of corruption and corruptibility: experiments. We assess their strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas where they could be particularly useful in guiding policy choices - namely in designing incentive-compatible and effective anti-corruption measures in public procurement.

Suggested Citation

  • Libor Dušek & Andreas Ortman & Lubomír Lízal, 2005. "Understanding Corruption and Corruptibility Through Experiments," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2005(2), pages 147-162.
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2005:y:2005:i:2:id:259:p:147-162
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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. Olivier Armantier & Amadou Boly, 2008. "Can Corruption Be Studied in the Lab? Comparing a Field and a Lab Experiment," CIRANO Working Papers 2008s-26, CIRANO.
    3. Amadou Boly & Robert Gillanders & Topi Miettinen, 2016. "Deterrence, peer effect, and legitimacy in anti-corruption policy-making: An experimental analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 137, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Armantier, Olivier & Boly, Amadou, 2011. "A controlled field experiment on corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1072-1082.
    5. M. Fernanda Rivas, 2013. "An Experiment On Corruption And Gender," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 10-42, January.
    6. Bobkova, Nina & Egbert, Henrik, 2012. "Corruption investigated in the lab: a survey of the experimental literature," MPRA Paper 38163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Valeria Burdea, 2013. "Research note on an experimental approach to the intrinsic motivations of corruption," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 7(1), November.
    8. Jana Krajcova & Andreas Ortmann, 2008. "Testing Leniency Programs Experimentally: The Impact of “Natural” Framing," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp372, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    9. Fahr, René & Djawadi, Behnud Mir, 2012. "The impact of risk perception and risk attitudes on corrupt behavior: Evidence from a petty corruption experiment," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62022, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Jana Krajcova, 2008. "Testing Leniency Programs Experimentally: The Impact of Change in Parameterization," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp370, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    11. Roy Cerqueti & Raffaella Coppier, 2015. "Corruptibility and tax evasion," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 355-373, April.
    12. Angelino Viceisza, 2007. "An experimental inquiry into the effect of yardstick competition on corruption," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2007-09, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    13. Khachatryan Elina & Kube Sebastian & Vollan Björn, 2015. "Mitigating Extortive Corruption? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(2), pages 228-241, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption; corruptibility; experiments; experimental methodology;

    JEL classification:

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

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