Reward Perception, But Not Reward Inequality is Associated with Increased Bribe-Taking in a Laboratory Task

7 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2022

See all articles by Štěpán Bahník

Štěpán Bahník

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Marek Vranka

Prague University of Economics and Business; Charles University in Prague

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Abstract

People are more likely to behave selfishly when such behavior is easier to justify. When someone receives a lesser reward for the same performed task, the perceived unfairness of the reward may serve as a justification for subsequent selfish behavior. In the present study, we let participants break rules in a sorting task in order to increase their rewards while simultaneously harming a third party, simulating a bribe-taking and its negative societal effects. Although we did not find evidence that manipulation of perceived reward inequality affects bribe-taking, people who perceived their reward more negatively behaved more selfishly and caused more harm.

Keywords: bribery, experiment, fairness

Suggested Citation

Bahník, Štěpán and Vranka, Marek, Reward Perception, But Not Reward Inequality is Associated with Increased Bribe-Taking in a Laboratory Task. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4040000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4040000

Štěpán Bahník

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Marek Vranka (Contact Author)

Prague University of Economics and Business

Czech Republic

Charles University in Prague ( email )

Celetná 13
Praha 1, 116 36
Czech Republic

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