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Experimental Study of Positive and Negative Incentives on Embezzlement

ФИО студента: Anna Dumitskaya

Руководитель: Philipp Chapkovski

Кампус/факультет: International College of Economics and Finance

Программа: Double degree programme in Economics of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Оценка: 9

Год защиты: 2020

This paper uses the prospect theory as a starting point to study how different regimes of incentives for a bureaucrat affect both embezzlement levels and expectations by the general public. Using the novel experimental design, we examine whether people tend to embezzle and the difference between beliefs and actual degrees of embezzlement. We also observe how positive incentives change the public’s expected level of embezzlement. After conducting an online experiment within a two-player public game, we observe that on average in the Baseline model the embezzled share is equal to 0.5 of funds, and only 40% of people do not embezzle. The public tends to overestimate the real degree of embezzlement. Under positive incentives, more people start to embezzle, and they embezzle bigger amounts. Furthermore, the public trust the government less and overestimates the embezzlement level even more.

Full text (added June 11, 2020)

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