Do Attitudes Towards Corruption Differ Across Cultures? Experimental Evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore
49 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2005
Date Written: July 2005
This paper examines cultural differences in attitudes towards corruption by analysing individual-decision making in a corrupt experimental environment. Attitudes towards corruption play a critical role in the persistence of corruption. Our experiments differentiate between the incentives to engage in corrupt behaviour and the incentives to punish corrupt behaviour and allow us to explore whether, in environments characterized by lower levels of corruption, there is both a lower propensity to engage in corrupt behaviour and a higher propensity to punish corrupt behaviour. Based on experiments run in Australia Melbourne), India (Delhi), Indonesia (Jakarta) and Singapore, we find that there is more variation in the propensities to punish corrupt behaviour than in the propensities to engage in corrupt behaviour across cultures. The results reveal that the subjects in India exhibit a higher tolerance towards corruption than the subjects in Australia while the subjects in Indonesia behave similarly to those in Australia. The subjects in Singapore have a higher propensity to engage in corruption than the subjects in Australia. We also vary our experimental design to examine the impact of a more effective punishment system and the effect of the perceived cost of bribery.
Keywords: Corruption, experiments, punishment, cultural analysis
JEL Classification: C91, D73, O17, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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By O. Lee Reed