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Preventing Corruption by Promoting Trust – Insights from Behavioral Science

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... 41, nº 1, pp . 100-116, January-March/2021 Behavioral economics of corruption and its implications Economia comportamental da corrupção e suas implicações such as political factors, institutional signals, moral commitments, among many others (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka, 2016;Lambsdorff, 2015;Carvalho and Silva 2016;Silva, 1996). To complicate matters, the definition and measurement of corruption is often the target of criticism and questioning. ...
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This paper holds that the standard economic accounts of corruption based on expected costs and benefits are insufficient to understand and to tackle dishonesty in the real world. It embarks on a survey of the literature to discuss the major roles automatic judgments and decisions, as well as cognitive biases and social preferences might play in deviations from honest behavior. The paper further discusses the implications of behavioral economics to the debate over how to fight corruption and foster integrity.
... The task of explaining corruption is a complex one. This is partly so because corruption refers to a multifaceted phenomenon transcending economic incentives, such as political factors, institutional signals, moral commitments, among many others (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka, 2016;Lambsdorff 2015, Carvalho and Silva 2016, Silva 1996. To complicate matters, the definition and measurement of corruption is often the target of criticism and questioning. ...
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Full-text available
This paper holds that the standard economic accounts of corruption based on expected costs and benefits are insufficient to understand and to tackle dishonesty in the real world. It embarks on a survey of the literature to discuss the major roles automatic judgments and decisions, as well as cognitive biases and social preferences might play in deviations from honest behavior. The paper further discusses the implications of behavioral economics to the debate over how to fight corruption and foster integrity. JEL Classification: B40; B41; D90; D91.
... The task of explaining corruption is a complex one. This is partly so because corruption refers to a multifaceted phenomenon transcending economic incentives, such as political factors, institutional signals, moral commitments, among many others (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka, 2016;Lambsdorff 2015, Carvalho and Silva 2016, Silva 1996. To complicate matters, the definition and measurement of corruption is often the target of criticism and questioning. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper holds that the standard economic accounts of corruption based on expected costs and benefits are insufficient to understand and to tackle dishonesty in the real world. It embarks on a survey of the literature to discuss the major roles automatic judgments and decisions, as well as cognitive biases and social preferences might play in deviations from honest behavior. The paper further discusses the implications of behavioral economics to the debate over how to fight corruption and foster integrity. JEL Classification: B40; B41; D90; D91.
... When economic theory analyses how the risks connected with a corruption contract are eliminated, models are usually presented where corruption contracts relate to a previously established legal contract (e. g. Lambsdorff, 2007Lambsdorff, , 2015. The main aim of the article is to develop the opposite approach and show the model where a corruption contract can be based on the mutual dependency and extortion and that it creates space for other contracts (both legal and illegal, respectively moral and immoral). ...
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Corruption contracts are, throughout the democratic world, illegal and considered immoral. Their participants thus cannot use standard procedures to find a second party, to negotiate the content of the contract, to check if it performs what was promised, and to enforce the promises. This increases the risks associated with the contract. Illegality or immorality of the contract makes both parties more vulnerable – each party can threaten to reveal the contract and denounce the second party. Connecting a corruption contract with a previously established legal contract is usually seen as the best way to reduce risks and to reinforce the corruption contract. Owing to legal contacts and contracts, potential parties interested in corruption know where they should seek a counterparty and what to offer. At the same time, the corruption contract is tied to legal contracts, and failure to fulfil conditions of the corruption contract may put such legal contract at risk, therefore there is a higher probability that both parties to the corruption contract would fulfil what was promised and that there will be no extortion by any of the parties to demand additional fulfilment after the end of the corruption contract or that the corruption contract will not be disclosed. This paper presents the opposite approach in which a corruption contract is established as the first and it creates the base for further often legal but immoral contracts. All contracts lead to the mutually advantageous affinity of all its participants who often become members of corruption networks. The article presents the model when a blackmailed or dependent person must participate in corruption contracts, otherwise, it faces serious problems. But sooner or later, participation will begin to bring him benefits, so he becomes dependent on the network, although initially, he had moral inhibitions to participate in its activities. The subjects looking a counterparty of the corruption contract thus often create the environment of dependency and blackmailing and when people that are obliged to corruption lose their scruples and they see corruption as the common behaviour. Our model comes from real corruption networks in the Czech Republic. Some of them are briefly analysed. Theory of corruption must pay higher attention to all factors contributing to the spread of corruption behaviour, including mutual dependence and extortion Keywords: blackmailing, corruption, corruption networks, corruption risks, mutual dependency
... Permanent vigilance becomes merely an exercise in the management of distrust as regaining confidence through constant surveillance and punishment is not possible (Krastev, 2013). Everything that is not visible automatically falls under suspicion and putting everyone under constant suspicion may in fact encourage distrust in others (Graf Lambsdorff, 2015). ...
Conference Paper
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Over 80% of respondents to the 2016 Catalan Anti-Fraud Office Barometer stated there is currently 'a lot' or 'quite a lot' of corruption in Catalonia, thereby evidencing an acute crime perception problem which can be linked to far-reaching consequences in areas such as trust in government or general trust in others. Municipal government is particularly salient to the issue as, on the one hand, it has been shown to suffer from criminogenic features that make it particularly propense to corrupt activity, while, on the other hand, it offers some of the characteristics necessary to implement effective, instrumental transparency which aims to foster accountability, citizen participation and good governance. The present paper analyses transparency literature and secondary data to establish: firstly, that current municipal efforts to merely comply with the Catalan Law 19/2014 on transparency, access to public information and good governance are often insufficient, and secondly, that the implementation of effective instrumental transparency is far from becoming a widespread reality. The paper shows that the reasons for the current shortfalls are numerous, including the misconception of transparency as an intrinsic value, a lack of resources or political will, as well as the inherent impediments present in the traditional organizational culture. However, progress is being made, and the paper concludes by examining some forms of innovative best practices and how adequate evaluation can show the path to follow and promote inter-administration knowledge sharing.
... Easterly and Levine, 1997;Alesina et al., 2003;Desmet et al., 2016). 24 Further, the negative effect of ethnic and cultural heterogeneity on trust and social capital could lead to a reduction in institutional quality (Alesina et al., 2003;Tabellini, 2008;Brondizio et al., 2009;Bjørnskov, 2010;Nannicini et al., 2013), increase corruption (Dincer, 2008;Graeff and Svendsen, 2013;Graf Lambsdorff, 2015) and decrease economic growth (Algan and Cahuc, 2013;Bjørnskov and Méon, 2013;Serritzlew et al., 2014). ...
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