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Deterrence versus intrinsic motivation: Experimental evidence on the determinants of corruptibility

Abstract.

This paper reports on an experiment of corruption that was conducted in two treatments: one with the possibility of detection and one without. It turns out that monitoring reduces corruption through deterrence; at the same time, it destroys the intrinsic motivation for honesty. Thus the net effect on overall corruption is a priori undetermined. We show that the salary level has an influence on corruption through increased opportunity costs of corruption, but fail to find evidence for a ‘payment satisfaction’ effect. Interesting policy conclusions emerge.

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ID="*" Acknowledgments: We are indebted to Johann Graf Lambsdorff for calling our attention to Fujimori's gender policy and to Ernst Fehr, Bruno Frey, Alireza Jay Naghavi, and two anonymous referees for valuable comments.

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Schulze, G., Frank, B. Deterrence versus intrinsic motivation: Experimental evidence on the determinants of corruptibility. Econ Gov 4, 143–160 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/s101010200059

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  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s101010200059

  • Key words: Corruption, gender, intrinsic motivation, monitoring
  • JEL classification: C91, D82