IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Letting the briber go free: an experiment on mitigating harassment bribes

  • Abbink, Klaus
  • Dasgupta, Utteeyo
  • Gangadharan, Lata
  • Jain, Tarun

This paper examines the effectiveness of using asymmetric liability to combat harassment bribes. Basu (2011) advocates legal immunity for bribe-givers, while retaining culpability for bribe-takers. Results from our experiment indicate that while this policy has the potential to significantly reduce corrupt practices, weak economic incentives for the bribe-giver, or retaliation by bribe-takers can mitigate the positive disciplining effect of such an implementation. As a result, asymmetric liability on its own may face challenges in the field.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 42176.

in new window

Date of creation: 16 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42176
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  2. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 307-331, August.
  3. Jose Apesteguia & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2007. "Blowing the Whistle," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 143-166, April.
  4. Bigoni, Maria & Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Le Coq, Chloé & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2009. "Fines, Leniency and Rewards in Antitrust: an Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7417, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Abbink, Klaus, 2004. "Staff rotation as an anti-corruption policy: an experimental study," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 887-906, November.
  6. Abigail Barr & Danila Serra, 2008. "The effects of externalities and framing on bribery in a petty corruption experiment," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-24, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Jeffrey A. Miron, 1999. "The Effect of Alcohol Prohibition on Alcohol Consumption," NBER Working Papers 7130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Danila Serra, 2008. "Combining Top-down and Bottom-up Accountability: Evidence from a Bribery Experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-25, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  9. Klaus Abbink & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2006. "Neutral versus loaded instructions in a bribery experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(2), pages 103-121, June.
  10. Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 2002. "An Experimental Bribery Game," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 428-454, October.
  11. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts & Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2010. "Intergroup Conflict and Intra-group Punishment in an Experimental Contest Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 420-47, March.
  12. Dufwenberg, Martin & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2012. "Legalizing Bribe Giving," CEPR Discussion Papers 9236, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2009. "Gender, Culture, and Corruption: Insights from an Experimental Analysis," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 663–680, January.
  14. Schickora, Jan Theodor, 2011. "Bringing the Four-Eyes-Principle to the Lab," Discussion Papers in Economics 12160, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
  16. Cameron, Lisa & Chaudhuri, Ananish & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata, 2009. "Propensities to engage in and punish corrupt behavior: Experimental evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 843-851, August.
  17. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf & Frank, Björn, 2010. "Bribing versus gift-giving - An experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 347-357, June.
  18. Basu, Kaushik, 2011. "Why, for a Class of Bribes, the Act of Giving a Bribe should be Treated as Legal," MPRA Paper 50335, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
  20. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2013. "Consumers' Complaints, the Nature of Corruption, and Social Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 4295, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Klaus Abbink, 2006. "Laboratory experiments on corruption," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-38, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  22. Christoph Engel & Sebastian Goerg & Gaoneng Yu, 2012. "Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Punishment Regimes for Bribery," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_01, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised May 2013.
  23. Jana Krajcova & Andreas Ortmann, 2008. "Testing Leniency Programs Experimentally: The Impact of “Natural” Framing," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp372, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  24. Graf Lambsdorff, Johann & Fink, Hady, 2006. "Combating corruption in Colombia: Perceptions and achievements," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-44-06, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
  25. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  26. Aaron Lowen & Andrew Samuel, 2012. "Bribery and Endogenous Monitoring Effort: An Experimental Study," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 356-380.
  27. Björn Frank & Johann Graf Lambsdorff & Frédéric Boehm, 2011. "Gender and Corruption: Lessons from Laboratory Corruption Experiments," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 23(1), pages 59-71, February.
  28. Banuri, Sheheryar & Eckel, Catherine, 2012. "Experiments in culture and corruption : a review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6064, The World Bank.
  29. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2009. "Subject pool effects in a corruption experiment: A comparison of Indonesian public servants and Indonesian students," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 113-132, March.
  30. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1975. "The economics of corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 187-203, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42176. 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: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.