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IS MORE COMPETITION ALWAYS BETTER? AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF EXTORTIONARY CORRUPTION

Dmitry Ryvkin () and Danila Serra ()

Economic Inquiry, 2019, vol. 57, issue 1, 50-72

Abstract: Using a laboratory experiment, we assess whether increasing competition among public officials reduces extortionary corruption. We find that increasing the number of providers has no effect on bribe demands when citizens' search costs are high, but it increases corruption when search costs are low. The effect is absent in a parallel setting framed as a standard market, which we attribute to citizens using a nonsequential search strategy as opposed to sequential search in the corruption setting. We conclude that efforts to reduce search costs, such as infrastructure investments, are preferable to anti‐corruption policies aimed at increasing the number of providers. (JEL D73, D49, C91)

Date: 2019
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https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12703

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Working Paper: Is more competition always better? An experimental study of extortionary corruption (2015) Downloads
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