Partisan Culture and Corruption: An Experimental Investigation Based on China's Communist Party
32 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 3, 2016
We conduct a lab experiment to investigate the impact of partisan culture and partisan identity on corruption behavior based on China’s Communist Party (CCP). Subjects are randomly assigned to a prime condition that increases the salience of CCP partisan concept or to a control condition in which the partisan concept is not made salient. Our results show that when acting as public officials, subjects in the partisan salience condition demand significantly fewer bribes than in the control condition. Moreover, when subjects are distinguished with their natural partisan identity as CCP members or non-members, we find that non-members behave even less corrupt in response to the partisan priming, while the effect of priming on CCP members’ corruption behavior is insignificant. Our results thus suggest that the prevailing CCP partisan culture is generally able to undermine the corruption behavior, while the partisan identity itself can work in the opposite direction.
Keywords: corruption, partisan culture, partisan identity, China’s communist party, experiment
JEL Classification: C91, D73, K42, Z13
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