Does Corruption Produce Unsafe Drivers?
We follow 822 applicants through the process of obtaining a driver%u2019s license in New Delhi, India. To understand how the bureaucracy responds to individual and social needs, participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: bonus, lesson, and comparison groups. Participants in the bonus group were offered a financial reward if they could obtain their license fast; participants in the lesson group were offered free driving lessons. To gauge driving skills, we performed a surprise driving test after participants had obtained their licenses. Several interesting facts regarding corruption emerge. First, the bureaucracy responds to individual needs. Those who want their license faster (e.g. the bonus group), get it 40% faster and at a 20% higher rate. Second, the bureaucracy is insensitive to social needs. The bonus group does not learn to drive safely in order to obtain their license: in fact, 69% of them were rated as %u201Cfailures%u201D on the independent driving test. Those in the lesson group, despite superior driving skills, are only slightly more likely to obtain a license than the comparison group and far less likely (by 29 percentage points) than the bonus group. Detailed surveys allow us to document the mechanisms of corruption. We find that bureaucrats arbitrarily fail drivers at a high rate during the driving exam, irrespective of their ability to drive. To overcome this, individuals pay informal %u201Cagents%u201D to bribe the bureaucrat and avoid taking the exam altogether. An audit study of agents further highlights the insensitivity of agents%u2019 pricing to driving skills. Together, these results suggest that bureaucrats raise red tape to extract bribes and that this corruption undermines the very purpose of regulation.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Bertrand, Marianne, Simeon Djankov, Rema Hanna and Sendhil Mullainathan. “Obtaining a Driving License in India: An Experimental Approach to Studying Corruption." Quarterly Journal of Economics (November 2007).|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2002.
"Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms,"
713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes And How Much? Evidence From A Cross Section Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230, February.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Who must pay bribes and how much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2486, The World Bank.
- Benjamin Olken, 2005.
"Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia,"
Natural Field Experiments
00317, The Field Experiments Website.
- Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
- Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 11753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio LopezdeSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000.
"The Regulation of Entry,"
NBER Working Papers
7892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper Series rwp01-015, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper 19462, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andre Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1904, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & López-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Shleifer, Andrei & Lopez de Silanes, Florencio, 2001. "The regulation of entry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2661, The World Bank.
- Thierry Verdier & Daron Acemoglu, 2000.
"The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 194-211, March.
- Di Tella, Rafael & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2003. "The Role of Wages and Auditing during a Crackdown on Corruption in the City of Buenos Aires," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 269-92, April.
- Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1992.
"Pervasive Shortages under Socialism,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 237-246, Summer.
- Banerjee, A.V., 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," Working papers 97-4, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 259-267, 04/05.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1289-1332, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12274. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.