Do Attitudes Towards Corruption Differ Across Cultures? Experimental Evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore

49 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2005

See all articles by Lisa A. Cameron

Lisa A. Cameron

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; J-PAL

Ananish Chaudhuri

University of Auckland - Department of Economics

Nisvan Erkal

University of Melbourne - Faculty of Business and Economics

Lata Gangadharan

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

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

Cameron, Lisa A. and Chaudhuri, Ananish and Erkal, Nisvan and Gangadharan, Lata, Do Attitudes Towards Corruption Differ Across Cultures? Experimental Evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore (July 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=778464 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.778464

Lisa A. Cameron

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=744

J-PAL ( email )

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Paris, 75014
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.povertyactionlab.org/cameron

Ananish Chaudhuri

University of Auckland - Department of Economics ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland
New Zealand

Nisvan Erkal (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Victoria, 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 3307 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 6899 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nisvanerkal.net

Lata Gangadharan

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria, 3010
Australia
+61 3 9344 5408 (Phone)
61 3 8344 6899 (Fax)

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