Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Punishment Regimes for Bribery

37 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2012 Last revised: 10 Jun 2013

See all articles by Christoph Engel

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Sebastian J. Goerg

Florida State University - Department of Economics; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Gaoneng Yu

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

In major legal orders such as the UK, the U.S., Germany, and France, bribers and recipients face equally severe criminal sanctions. In contrast, countries like China, Russia, and Japan treat the briber more mildly. In this paper, we investigate which strategy is more effective in curbing corruption: symmetric or asymmetric punishment? To answer this, we manipulate the symmetry of punishment in a lab experiment. To control for unobserved cultural factors, we run the identical experiment in Bonn (Germany) and Shanghai (China). Our results suggest that, independent of culture and legal origin, asymmetric punishment gives bribers a behaviorally credible technology for enforcing corrupt deals.

Keywords: Bribery, Punishment, Effectiveness, Asymmetry, Legislation

JEL Classification: C91, D02, D03, D73, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Engel, Christoph and Goerg, Sebastian J. and Yu, Gaoneng, Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Punishment Regimes for Bribery (May 2013). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2012/1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1983969 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1983969

Christoph Engel (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/engel.html

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

Sebastian J. Goerg

Florida State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States
+1 (850) 644-7083 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.s-goerg.de

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de

Gaoneng Yu

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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