The Game of Systemic Corruption in Brazil and the Focal Point Theory
16 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2020
Date Written: January 30, 2019
Systemic corruption works differently than petty corruption. The “Car Wash Operation” (Operação Lava Jato), considered one of the largest corruption scandals in the world, is analyzed through the lens of Game Theory and Schelling's Focal Point to understand the complex phenomenon of systemic corruption. Prosecution agreements generated asymmetry in the bribe-taker and bribe-giver relationship and harmed the most precious asset of a criminal relationship: trust. Destabilizing the harmony between bribe-giver and bribe-taker is key to tackle systemic corruption. In the Corruption Game played in Brazil, a new focal point allowed the players to see that there was a different equilibrium available.
Keywords: corruption, systemic corruption, focal point, game theory, Car Wash Operation, Lava Jato, Brazil, equilibrium, law, Schelling, bribe, bribery, organised crime, prosecution, agreement, cooperation, plea bargain, deferred prosecution, non-prosecution, leniency, collaboration, asymmetry, scandal
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