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Bribery: Greed versus reciprocity

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  • Gneezy, Uri
  • Saccardo, Silvia
  • van Veldhuizen, Roel

Abstract

It is estimated that a trillion dollars are annually exchanged in bribes, distorting justice and economic efficiency. In a novel experiment, we investigate the drivers of bribery. Two participants compete for a prize; a referee picks the winner. Participants can bribe the referee. When the referee can keep only the winner's bribe, bribes distort her judgment. When the referee keeps the bribes regardless of the winner, bribes no longer influence her judgment. An extra-laboratory experiment in an Indian market confirms these results. Hence, our participants are influenced by bribes out of greed, and not because of a desire to reciprocate.

Suggested Citation

  • Gneezy, Uri & Saccardo, Silvia & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2016. "Bribery: Greed versus reciprocity," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-203, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2016203
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bribery; Reciprocity; Laboratory Experiment; Extra-Laboratory experiment;

    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
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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