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In this paper, we present a critical survey of experiments on political clientelism and vote-buying. We claim that through randomization and control, field experiments represent an important tool for answering causal questions, whereas list experiments provide useful methods that improve the hard task of measuring clientelism. We show that existing experimental research gives answers to the questions of why clientelism is effective for getting votes and winning elections, who relies more on this strategy – incumbents or challengers – how much clientelism takes place, and who tend to be the favorite targets of clientelistic politicians. The relationship between clientelism and other illicit strategies for getting votes, such as electoral violence and fraud, has also been analyzed through experimental interventions. Experiments have also studied mechanisms and policies for overcoming clientelism. Finally, we show that external validity is a major source of concern that affects this burgeoning literature.
In Chapter 2, Ananish Chaudhuri surveys the empirical evidence on the existence of gender differences in individuals’ propensity to engage in corruption. While the chapter…
In Chapter 2, Ananish Chaudhuri surveys the empirical evidence on the existence of gender differences in individuals’ propensity to engage in corruption. While the chapter begins with a review of the findings generated by cross-country studies, the main focus of the discussion is in the insights provided by laboratory experiments specifically designed to test for gender differentials in corrupt transactions. According to the carefully conducted survey of the literature, the existing experimental evidence suggests that females are either equally or less willing to engage in corruption than males; there is very little evidence that women behave more corruptly than men. The author discusses possible reasons for gender differentials in corrupt behavior, such as risk aversion and preferences for reciprocation. Finally, Chaudhuri emphasizes that gender effects are more likely to be observed in studies conducted in developed countries and calls for further research to be conducted in developing countries, with the aim of shedding light on the relationships between gender differences in corrupt behavior and the cultural background of the experimental participants.
Existing experimental and quasi-experimental results have demonstrated that both anticorruption initiatives that provide information and/or authority to the recipients of…
Existing experimental and quasi-experimental results have demonstrated that both anticorruption initiatives that provide information and/or authority to the recipients of government programs – so-called “bottom-up” interventions – and initiatives that rely on government agencies for enforcement – “top-down” interventions – can be effective in some settings. Yet, in other instances, both forms of intervention have been found to be ineffective in combating corruption. These contrasting results strongly suggest that the effectiveness of both “top-down” and “bottom-up” anticorruption interventions is conditional on other factors. Unfortunately, the existing literature says little regarding the conditions conducive to the success of either forms of intervention. Assessing the conditional effects of anticorruption treatments poses substantial challenges for researchers – particularly for those employing experimental or quasi-experimental approaches. This chapter (1) discusses factors that may condition the effectiveness of both top-down and bottom-up interventions; (2) illustrates the difficulties in assessing these conditional relationships, with particular reference to experimental and quasi-experimental settings; and (3) suggests approaches that might mitigate these problems.
In observational data, access to information is associated with lower levels of corruption. This chapter reviews a small but growing body of work that uses field…
In observational data, access to information is associated with lower levels of corruption. This chapter reviews a small but growing body of work that uses field experiments to explore the mechanisms behind this relationship. We present a typology for understanding this research based on the type of corruption being addressed (political vs. bureaucratic), the mechanism for accountability (retrospective vs. prospective), and the nature of the information provided (factual vs. prescriptive). We describe some of the tradeoffs involved in design decisions for such experiments and suggest directions for future research.
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…
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.