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Intermediaries in Corruption: An Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Mikhail Drugov

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • John Hamman

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

  • Danila Serra

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

Abstract

Intermediaries facilitate exchanges between buyers and sellers. Intermediation activities are an important part of the formal economy. Anecdotal evidence suggests that intermediaries are ubiquitous in corrupt activities; however, empirical evidence on their role as facilitators of corrupt transactions is scarce. This paper asks whether, besides eliminating uncertainty, intermediaries facilitate corruption by reducing the moral costs of possible bribers and bribees. Indeed, intermediaries might shift the responsibility for initiating the corrupt transaction away from the briber, and might institutionalize corruption. We address our research question using a specifically designed bribery lab experiment that simulates petty corruption transactions between private citizens and public officials. The experimental data confirm that intermediaries lower the moral costs of citizens and officials and, thus, increase corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikhail Drugov & John Hamman & Danila Serra, 2011. "Intermediaries in Corruption: An Experiment," Working Papers wp2011_01_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2011_01_01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Roberto Burguet & Juan José Ganuza & José Garcia Montalvo, 2016. "The microeconomics of corruption. A review of thirty years of research," Economics Working Papers 1525, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2013. "The influence of wages on public officials' corruptibility: A laboratory investigation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-210, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Jean-Benoit Falisse & Nastassia Leszczynska, 2015. "Professional Identity, Bribery and Public Service Delivery: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Burundi," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2015-07, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Charles Angelucci & Antonio Russo, 2015. "Petty corruption and citizen feedback," Working Papers 2015/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    7. Roel van Veldhuizen, 2012. "The Influence of Wages on Public Officials' Corruptibility: A Laboratory Investigation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-038/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:1:p:409-424 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Liang, Pinghan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2016. "Favor transmission and social image concern: An experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 14-21.
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    12. repec:eee:soceco:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:70-78 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Intermediaries; Moral cost; Experiment;

    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
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other

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