Economics - Research Publications

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    Subject pool effects in a corruption experiment: a comparison of Indonesian public servants and Indonesian students
    Alatas, Vivi ; CAMERON, LISA ; Chaudhuri, Ananish ; ERKAL, NISVAN ; GANGADHARAN, LATA ( 2006-10)
    We report results from a corruption experiment with Indonesian public servants andIndonesian students. Our results suggest that although both subject pools show a high levelof concern with the extent of corruption in Indonesia, the Indonesian public servantsubjects have a significantly lower tolerance of corruption than the Indonesian students.We find no evidence that this is due to a selection effect. The reasons given by the publicservants for either engaging in or not engaging in corruption suggest that the differences inbehavior across the subject pools are driven by their different real life experiences. Forexample, when abstaining from corruption public servants more often cite the need toreduce the social costs of corruption as a reason for their actions, and when engaging incorruption they cite low government salaries or a belief that corruption is a necessary evilin the current environment. In contrast, students give more simplistic moral reasons. Weconclude by arguing that experiments such as the one considered in this paper can be usedto measure forward-looking attitudinal change in society and that results obtained fromdifferent subject pools can complement each other in the determination of such attitudinalchanges.
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    Do Attitudes Towards Corruption Differ Across Cultures?Experimental Evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia andSingapore
    CAMERON, LISA ; Chaudhuri, Ananish ; ERKAL, NISVAN ; GANGADHARAN, LATA ( 2005-07)
    This paper examines cultural differences in attitudes towards corruption by analysingindividual-decision making in a corrupt experimental environment. Attitudes towards corruptionplay a critical role in the persistence of corruption. Our experiments differentiate between theincentives to engage in corrupt behaviour and the incentives to punish corrupt behaviour andallow us to explore whether, in environments characterized by lower levels of corruption, there isboth a lower propensity to engage in corrupt behaviour and a higher propensity to punish corruptbehaviour. Based on experiments run in Australia (Melbourne), India (Delhi), Indonesia (Jakarta)and Singapore, we find that there is more variation in the propensities to punish corruptbehaviour than in the propensities to engage in corrupt behaviour across cultures. The resultsreveal that the subjects in India exhibit a higher tolerance towards corruption than the subjects inAustralia while the subjects in Indonesia behave similarly to those in Australia. The subjects inSingapore have a higher propensity to engage in corruption than the subjects in Australia. Wealso vary our experimental design to examine the impact of a more effective punishment systemand the effect of the perceived cost of bribery.