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I paid a bribe: An experiment on information sharing and extortionary corruption

Dmitry Ryvkin (), Danila Serra () and James Tremewan

European Economic Review, 2017, vol. 94, issue C, 1-22

Abstract: Theoretical and empirical research on corruption has flourished in the last three decades; however, identifying successful anti-corruption policies remains a challenge. In this paper we ask whether bottom-up institutions that rely on voluntary and anonymous reports of bribe demands, such as the I paid a bribe website first launched in India in 2010, could act as effective anti-corruption tools, and, if this is the case, whether and how their effectiveness could be improved. We overcome measurement and identification problems by addressing our research questions in the laboratory. Our results show that the presence of a reporting platform like the I paid a bribe website may be insufficient to systematically lower bribery. A more effective platform is one where posts disclose specific information about the size of the bribes and the location of their requestors, i.e., a platform that could serve as a search engine for the least corrupt officials, especially if posting is restricted to service recipients. Our results also show that while citizens rarely post false information, lying by officials, when allowed to post on the platform, is widespread.

Keywords: Information sharing; Extortionary corruption; Experiment; Crowdsourcing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D73 D49 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2017.02.003

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