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Self-Selection into Corruption: Evidence from the Lab

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  • Brassiolo, P

    ()

  • Estrada, R

    ()

  • Fajardo, G

    ()

  • Vargas, J. F

    ()

Abstract

We study whether opportunities to extract rents in a job affect the type of individuals who are attracted to it in terms of their underlying integrity. We do so in a laboratory experiment in which participants choose between two contracts that involve different tasks. We experimentally introduce the possibility of graft in one of them and study the sorting of subjects across contracts based on an incentivized measure of honesty. We find that the corruptible contract changes the composition of subjects because it attracts the most dishonest individuals and repels the most honest ones. In addition, we observe extensive graft when the opportunity is available. We introduce a double randomization strategy to disentangle the extent of which stealing responds to the aforementioned negative selection or to pure incentives (net of selection). We find that, in this setting, selection is the main driver of graft. Our results have clear policy implications to curb corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Brassiolo, P & Estrada, R & Fajardo, G & Vargas, J. F, 2020. "Self-Selection into Corruption: Evidence from the Lab," Documentos de Trabajo 018179, Universidad del Rosario.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:018179
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; selection; rent extraction opportunities; personnel economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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