Thursday, 17 December, 2009 | 13:00 | Defense

Jana Krajčová: “Anti-Corruption Mechanisms in Economic Models of Corruption”

Dissertation Committee:
Andreas Ortmann (chair)
Libor Dušek
Junghun Cho
Peter Katuščák



This dissertation consists of three chapters that, theoretically and experimentally, address the effectiveness of anti-corruption mechanisms.

In the first chapter, I analyze the effects of monitoring on an agent's incentives in a two-period principal-agent model in which the agent decides on his effort and corruptibility. The agent's type and strategy are unknown to the principal. I compare incentive-compatible wages under three different scenarios: 1) the principal does not monitor and only observes output; 2) the principal monitors the agent's effort choice; and 3) the principal monitors the agent's corruptibility. I find that monitoring of effort improves the sorting of types but it might also give the agent more incentive to be corrupt. Monitoring of corruption does not improve the sorting of types but it negatively affects the agent's incentive to be corrupt.

In the second and in the third chapter I analyze experimentally how promising as anti-corruption measures leniency policies really are. Buccirossi and Spagnolo (2006) had conjectured, based on theoretical work, that ill-designed legal environments might, in fact, produce results that contradict the intentions of the designers of the leniency policies. And, indeed, I demonstrate, for the first time as far as I know, that real-world subjects understand and use ill-designed legal environments to enforce occasional corrupt transactions.

In the second chapter, I analyze also subjects' sensitivity to a parametric change that does not affect the prediction of a generalized Buccirossi and Spagnolo model. I find that increasing the value of an illegal transaction to a briber and reducing the penalties to both culprits leads to more bribes being paid but does not affect the cooperation of the bribee. My data also suggest that trust and preferences towards others might play a role.

In the third chapter, which is a joint work with Andreas Ortmann, we study the effects of loaded instructions in the generalized Buccirossi and Spagnolo's model. We find a strong gender effect: men and women react differently to real-world framing. The treatment effect becomes significant once we allow for gender-specific coefficients. This chapter contributes to the (small) literature on experimental tests of (anti-)corruption measures and adds evidence to the (mixed) results on gender effects and the on-going discussion on the need for socio-demographic controls.

Both experimental chapters provide a testbed for the testing of anti-corruption measures.

Full Text: “Anti-Corruption Mechanisms in Economic Models of Corruption” by Jana Krajčová