Citizens’ Response to Government Corruption: Experimental Evidence from Australia, Singapore, and the United States
28 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2014 Last revised: 25 Mar 2019
Date Written: 2014
How do citizens respond to government corruption? Specifically, do citizens engage in collective action to demand government accountability for corruption? We consider that citizens’ strategic interactions underlie collective action and use experimental research to clarify conditions under which it occurs. The results show participants engage in collective action across various conditions, particularly: (a) when they lose from corrupt actions; and (b) when informed that others demand accountability. This paper makes three contributions: first, the findings highlight conditions under a theoretical model, the stag-hunt, predicts collective action to underpin social action. Second, relatedly, the results clarify the effects of two critical conditions – loss from corruption and information about other participants’ behaviors – that consistently motivate respondents to pursue collective action. The finding of information is highly relevant, given the increasing interconnections through social media. Third, the findings provide evidence-based research across a range of regime-types and cultures to fill a huge gap in policy understanding, and carry substantial implications for domestic and international policymaking, policy reforms, and political and social stability.
Keywords: government corruption, citizens' response, collective action, stag-hunt
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