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Working Paper 277 - Deterrence and Legitimacy in Anti-Corruption Policymaking

Author

Listed:
  • Boly Amadou
  • Gillanders Robert
  • Miettinen Topi

Abstract

In our framed laboratory experiment, two Public Officials, A and B, make consecutive decisions regarding embezzlement from separate funds. Official B observes Official A’s decisions before making his/her own. We find a contagion effect in embezzlement in that facing a corrupt Official A increases the likelihood and extent of embezzlement by Official B. Likewise, deterrence matters in that higher detection probabilities significantly decrease the likelihood and extent of embezzlement. Crucially, when the same deterrence policy applies to both officials, detection is more effective in curbing embezzlement if chosen by an honest public official A rather than a corrupt Public Official A. This legitimacy effect may help explain why anti-corruption policies can fail in countries where the government itself is believed (or known) to be corrupt.

Suggested Citation

  • Boly Amadou & Gillanders Robert & Miettinen Topi, 2017. "Working Paper 277 - Deterrence and Legitimacy in Anti-Corruption Policymaking," Working Paper Series 2394, African Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:adb:adbwps:2394
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miettinen, Topi, 2013. "Promises and conventions – An approach to pre-play agreements," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 68-84.
    2. Topi Miettinen & Sigrid Suetens, 2008. "Communication and Guilt in a Prisoner's Dilemma," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 52(6), pages 945-960, December.
    3. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boly, Amadou & Gillanders, Robert, 2018. "Anti-corruption policy making, discretionary power and institutional quality: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 314-327.

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