NOVAFRICA News: “Measuring Corruption in the Field Using Behavioral Games” just out in the Journal of Public Economics

“Measuring Corruption in the Field Using Behavioral Games” Is the paper just published at Journal of Public Economics by Nova SBE and NOVAFRICA Professors Armand Alex and Pedro Vicente, as well as NOVAFRICA External members Alex Coutts from Schulich School of Business and Inês Vilela from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Corruption is often harmful for economic development, yet it is difficult to measure due to its illicit nature. We propose a novel corruption game to characterize the interaction between actual political leaders and citizens, and implement it in Northern Mozambique. Contrary to the game-theoretic prediction, both leaders and citizens engage in corruption. Importantly, corruption in the game is correlated with real-world corruption by leaders: citizens send bribes to leaders whom we observe appropriating community money. In corrupt behavior, we identify an important trust dimension captured by a standard trust game.

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