Anti-corruption policy making, discretionary power and institutional quality: An experimental analysis

Amadou Boly, Robert Gillanders*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse policymakers’ incentives to fight corruption under different institutional qualities. We find that ‘public officials’, even when non-corrupt, significantly distort anti-corruption institutions by choosing a lower detection probability when this probability applies to their own actions (legal equality), compared to a setting where it does not (legal inequality). More surprising perhaps is the finding that policy-makers do not choose a zero level of detection on average, even when it applies to them too. Finally, corruption is significantly lower when the detection probability is exogenously set, suggesting that the institutional power to choose detection can itself be corruptive.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Issue numberAugust
Pages (from-to)314-327
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 19.06.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 511 Economics
  • Anti-corruption
  • Embezzlement
  • Experimental economics
  • Institutions
  • Policy-making


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