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Deterrence, peer effect, and legitimacy in anti-corruption policy-making: An experimental analysis

Amadou Boly, Robert Gillanders () and Topi Miettinen ()

No 137, WIDER Working Paper Series from World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER)

Abstract: In our framed laboratory experiment, two Public Officials, A and B, make consecutive decisions regarding embezzlement from separate funds. Official B observes Official A’s decision before making their own. There are four treatments: three with deterrence and one without. We find a peer effect in embezzlement in that facing an honest Official A reduces embezzlement by Official B. Likewise, deterrence matters in that higher detection probabilities significantly decrease embezzlement. Crucially, detection is more effective in curbing embezzlement when chosen by an honest Official A compared to a corrupt Official A at almost all individual detection levels. This ‘legitimacy’ effect may help explain why anti-corruption policies can fail in countries where the government itself is believed to be corrupt.

Keywords: corruption; deterrence; embezzlement; laboratory experiment; legitimacy; peer effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-law and nep-ure
Date: 2016
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

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