A market for integrity - The use of competition to reduce bribery in education

81 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019 Last revised: 29 Sep 2023

See all articles by Ivan Soraperra

Ivan Soraperra

University of Amsterdam - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-Making (CREED)

Nils Köbis

Max Planck Institute for Human Development - Center for Humans and Machines

Charles Efferson

Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne

Shaul Shalvi

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE)

Sonja Vogt

ETH Zürich

Theo Offerman

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Econometrics (FEE)

Date Written: September 27, 2023

Abstract

Bribery to attain academic credentials is a widespread problem around the globe. It reinforces inequality and lays the foundation for a norm of undermining skill, achievement, and productivity. One recommended solution is to raise teacher salaries. Even without monitoring and punishment, this could ameliorate the situation by moving teachers away from the poverty threshold and shifting the balance of decision-making forces in favour of intrinsically prosocial motives. As an alternative solution, we suggest a piece-rate scheme that rewards teachers for the students they attract to their schools. Using a game theoretic model and a pre-registered experiment, we compared the two mechanisms. Our results show that a salary increase has little or no impact on bribery, but the piece rate substantially reduces it. The piece rate does this by creating a market that transfers power from teachers to students and thus recruits endogenous forces to reduce bribe extraction by teachers. These findings provide initial evidence for the value of correctly incentivising integrity. Interventions inspired by these findings would be best implemented in cases where the government cannot reliably monitor and enforce anti-corruption measures.

Keywords: education, corruption, theory, experiment

JEL Classification: D73, D82, C90

Suggested Citation

Soraperra, Ivan and Köbis, Nils and Efferson, Charles and Shalvi, Shaul and Vogt, Sonja and Offerman, Theo, A market for integrity - The use of competition to reduce bribery in education (September 27, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3409962 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3409962

Ivan Soraperra

University of Amsterdam - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-Making (CREED) ( email )

Faculty of Economics and Econometrics
Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Nils Köbis (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Human Development - Center for Humans and Machines ( email )

Berlin
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/person/107772

Charles Efferson

Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne ( email )

Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Shaul Shalvi

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, North Holland 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/morallabshalvi/

Sonja Vogt

ETH Zürich ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
8092 Zurich, CH-1015
Switzerland

Theo Offerman

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Econometrics (FEE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4294 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5283 (Fax)

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