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Book cover: Research in Experimental Economics

Research in Experimental Economics

ISSN: 0193-2306
Series editor(s): Professor R. Mark Isaac and Douglas A. Norton

Subject Area: Economics

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Chapter 10 Behavioral and Experimental Economics as a Guidance to Anticorruption

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Title:Chapter 10 Behavioral and Experimental Economics as a Guidance to Anticorruption
Author(s):Johann Graf Lambsdorff
Volume:15 Editor(s): Danila Serra, Leonard Wantchekon ISBN: 978-1-78052-784-0 eISBN: 978-1-78052-785-7
Citation:Johann Graf Lambsdorff (2012), Chapter 10 Behavioral and Experimental Economics as a Guidance to Anticorruption, in Danila Serra, Leonard Wantchekon (ed.) New Advances in Experimental Research on Corruption (Research in Experimental Economics, Volume 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.279-300
DOI:10.1108/S0193-2306(2012)0000015012 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:This chapter argues that reciprocity provides a key to understanding corrupt behavior and its limitations. It allows for an understanding why agents not only are guided by explicit incentives but also serve those to whom they owe gratitude. It allows to observe how citizens disregard their narrow-minded interests and engage in altruistic punishment, potentially exercising negative reciprocity toward a corrupt leadership. It shows how reciprocity is at the center of criminal networks and how reform sometimes enhances rather than inhibits this dismal form of reciprocity. It finally reveals how humans are at risk of reciprocating toward their own self-image, which may inhibit them from impartially assessing their misdeeds. A thorough understanding of the power of reciprocity can inspire novel avenues for reform, some of which are presented here.

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