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The Tragedy of Corruption Corruption as a social dilemma

Author

Listed:
  • Ye-Feng Chen

    (Zhejiang University)

  • Shu-Guang Jiang

    (Shandong University)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We investigate corruption as a social dilemma by means of a bribery game in which a risk of collective failure is introduced when the number of public officials accepting a bribe from firms reaches a certain threshold. We show that, despite the social risk, the pursuit of individual interest prevails and leads to the elimination of honest officials over time. Reducing the size of the groups while increasing the probability of collective failure diminishes the public officials' corruptibility but is not sufficient to eliminate the tragedy of corruption altogether.

Suggested Citation

  • Ye-Feng Chen & Shu-Guang Jiang & Marie Claire Villeval, 2015. "The Tragedy of Corruption Corruption as a social dilemma," Working Papers halshs-01236660, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01236660
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-01236660v2
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    experiment; coordination; collective failure; social dilemma; bribing; Corruption;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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