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Measuring corruption in the field using behavioral games

Alex Armand, Alexander Coutts, Pedro Vicente and Ines Vilela

NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA

Abstract: Corruption is often harmful for economic development, yet it is difficult to measure due to its illicit nature. We propose a novel corruption game to characterize the interaction between actual political leaders and citizens, and implement it in Northern Mozambique. Contrary to the game-theoretic prediction, both leaders and citizens engage in corruption. Importantly, corruption in the game is correlated with real-world corruption by leaders: citizens send bribes to leaders whom we observe appropriating community money, and these leaders are likely to reciprocate the bribes. In corrupt behavior, we identify an important trust dimension captured by a standard trust game.

Keywords: Corruption; game; trust; lab-in-the-field; citizen; political leader; incentives; behavior; elite capture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D10 D70 D72 D73 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Measuring corruption in the field using behavioral games (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring corruption in the field using behavioral games (2021) Downloads
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