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Corruption and culture: An Experimental Analysis

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  • Abigail Barr
  • Danila Serra

Abstract

Why do some people choose corruption over honesty and others not? Do the social norms and values prevailing in the societies in which they grew up affect their decisions? In 2005, we conducted a bribery experiment and found that, among undergraduates, we could predict who would act corruptly with reference to the level of corruption in their home country, Among graduates we could no. In 2007, we replicated our result. We conclude that individuals’ propensities to act corruptly may reflect the cultures in which they grew up. However certain types of individuals may not conform to their cultures and could, therefore, act as agents for change.

Suggested Citation

  • Abigail Barr & Danila Serra, 2008. "Corruption and culture: An Experimental Analysis," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-23, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2008-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Social Norms; Economic Experiments Culture;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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