Is Transparency an Effective Anti-Corruption Strategy? Evidence from a Field Experiment in India

Regulation & Governance, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 261-280, 2010

Posted: 5 Jan 2011

See all articles by Leonid V. Peisakhin

Leonid V. Peisakhin

Juan March Institute for Study and Research

Paul Pinto

Yale University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: September 23, 2010

Abstract

Can freedom of information laws be harnessed by underprivileged members of society and used to obtain greater access to basic public goods that are otherwise attainable only through bribery? Drawing on a field experiment on access to ration cards among New Delhi’s slum dwellers, we demonstrate that India’s recently adopted freedom of information law is almost as effective as bribery in helping the poor to secure access to a basic public service. We find support for the theoretical proposition that greater transparency and voice lowers corruption even in highly hierarchical and unequal societies.

Keywords: Field Experiment, Freedom of Information, Corruption

JEL Classification: C93

Suggested Citation

Peisakhin, Leonid V. and Pinto, Paul, Is Transparency an Effective Anti-Corruption Strategy? Evidence from a Field Experiment in India (September 23, 2010). Regulation & Governance, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 261-280, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1734842

Leonid V. Peisakhin (Contact Author)

Juan March Institute for Study and Research ( email )

77 Castello Street
Madrid, E-28006
Spain

Paul Pinto

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States

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