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Partisan culture, identity and corruption: An experiment based on the Chinese Communist Party

Haoran He and Shuguang Jiang

China Economic Review, 2020, vol. 60, issue C

Abstract: We conduct a lab experiment to investigate the impact of partisan culture and identity on corruption behavior based on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Subjects are randomly assigned to a prime condition that increases the salience of the CCP partisan concept or to a control condition in which the partisan concept is not made salient. Our results show that when acting as public officials, subjects in the priming condition demand significantly lower bribes than in the control condition. Moreover, when subjects are differentiated by their natural partisan identity as CCP members or non-members, we find that non-members are even less corrupt in response to partisan concept prime, while the effect of priming on CCP members is insignificant. Our results, combining with additional evidence, suggest that the prevailing CCP partisan culture is generally able to undermine corruption behavior, while the partisan identity itself can work in the opposite direction.

Keywords: Corruption; Partisan culture; Partisan identity; Chinese communist party; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D73 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2019.101402

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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