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Does corruption affect cooperation? A laboratory experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez

    ()

    (El Colegio de México)

  • Luis A. Mejia

    ()

    (El Colegio de México)

Abstract In this paper, we analyze the nature of cooperation in different corruption regimes. In a laboratory experiment with university students in Mexico, individuals play first a corruption game and then a public goods game. The corruption game is divided into three groups: high- and low-monitoring scenarios as well as a control group not exposed to the game. The public goods game is divided into three groups: the standard game, a game with centralized punishment executed by an exogenously assigned leader, and a game similar to the second one, but adding the possibility of counter-punishment. There are four key results. First, there is more corruption in the low-monitoring group. Second, in the public goods game there is less cooperation in the low-monitoring group than in the group with more intensive monitoring. Third, the option of punishment increases cooperation, but the sensitivity to punishment is greater in the high-monitoring (low-corruption) group. Fourth, the option of counter-punishment of the leader decreases cooperation. Our results highlight the importance of corruption in decreasing trust and social capital and show the difficulty of promoting cooperation when corruption is prevalent.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s40503-016-0035-0
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Article provided by Springer & Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE) in its journal Latin American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 25 (2016)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 1-19

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Handle: RePEc:spr:laecrv:v:25:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s40503-016-0035-0
DOI: 10.1007/s40503-016-0035-0
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Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/40503

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