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Can Corruption be Studied in the Lab? Comparing a Field and a Lab Experiment

29 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009 Last revised: 21 Jul 2014

Olivier Armantier

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Amadou Boly

African Development Bank

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper makes an attempt at testing the external validity of corruption experiments by moving from the lab in a developed country, to where it matters the most, the field in a developing country. In our experiment a candidate proposes a bribe to a grader in order to obtain a better grade. We find the direction and the magnitude of most treatment effects to be statistically indistinguishable between the lab and the field. In particular, increasing the graders' wage reduces in both environments the probability to accept the bribe. Finally, we identify several micro-determinants of corruption (age, religiousness, ability).

Keywords: corruption, experimental economics, field experiments

JEL Classification: C91, C93, D73, I20

Suggested Citation

Armantier, Olivier and Boly, Amadou, Can Corruption be Studied in the Lab? Comparing a Field and a Lab Experiment (September 1, 2008). CIRANO - Scientific Publications No. 2008s-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1324120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1324120

Olivier Armantier (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

Amadou Boly

African Development Bank ( email )

Rue Joseph Anoma
Abidjan, Ivory Coast 01 BP 1387
Ivory Coast (Cote D'ivoire)

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