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

See all articles by O. Fiona Yap

O. Fiona Yap

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Yap, O. Fiona, Citizens’ Response to Government Corruption: Experimental Evidence from Australia, Singapore, and the United States (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2455174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2455174

O. Fiona Yap (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory ACT 0200
Australia

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