DP16596 Measuring corruption in the field using behavioral games
|Author(s):||Alex Armand, Alexander Coutts, Pedro C Vicente, Inês Vilela|
|Publication Date:||October 2021|
|Keyword(s):||Behavior, Citizen, Corruption, Elite capture, Game, incentives, lab-in-the-field, Political leader, Trust|
|JEL(s):||C90, D10, D70, D72, D73|
|Programme Areas:||Public Economics, Development Economics, Organizational Economics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16596|
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.