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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg March 28, 2019

Staff Rotation as an Anti-Corruption Policy in China and in Germany: An Experimental Comparison

Christoph Bühren

Abstract

We conducted bribery experiments in China and in Germany to analyze the effect of staff rotation on corruption. After being bribed, Chinese and German subjects in the role of public officials less often reciprocated and instead behaved more often opportunistically when matched to strangers compared to partners. Thus, staff rotation reduced the public officials´ propensity to behave corruptly in our experiment. German subjects in the role of firms anticipated this behavior: In stranger matching, their frequency of bribe-giving was lower than in partner matching, and if they bribed, the bribe value was significantly lower when staff rotation was introduced. For Chinese subjects in the role of firms, this effect of our anti-corruption policy was not significant. We discuss the role of social norms, such as reciprocity and trust, to explain our results.

JEL Classification: C91; D62; D72; D73; K42

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Appendix: Marginal effects at sample averages of probit regressions (6) – (9) and ordered probit regression (10) – (13) analyzing the effect of staff rotation on corrupt behavior by country

(6)

Dependent variable:

Public official´s rejection: yes or no (1 or 0)
(7)

Dependent variable:

Public official´s rejection: yes or no (1 or 0)
(8)

Dependent variable:

Public official´s reporting: yes or no (1 or 0)
(9)

Dependent variable:

Public official´s reporting: yes or no (1 or 0)
(10)

Dependent variable:

Firm´s bribe size 2
(11)

Dependent variable:

Firm´s bribe size 4
(12)

Dependent variable:

Firm´s bribe size 6
(13)

Dependent variable:

Firm´s bribe size 8
Marginal effectRobust std. errorMarginal effectRobust std. errorMarginal effectRobust std. errorMarginal effectRobust std. errorMarginal effectRobust std. errorMarginal effectRobust std. errorMarginal effectRobust std. errorMarginal effectRobust std. error
Germany
Staff rotation−0.084*0.050−0.101**0.049−0.0460.035−0.059*0.0310.132*0.0710.0120.010−0.033*0.020−0.111*0.058
Male−0.0660.053−0.0480.050−0.0000.0350.0030.031−0.147**0.069−0.0140.0120.037*0.0200.124**0.059
Round0.0000.006−0.0010.005−0.0030.005−0.0030.0040.0050.009−0.0000.001−0.0010.002−0.0040.008
Bribe value−0.028***0.008−0.021***0.006
N354354354354354
Pseudo R20.0410.1000.0150.0800.024
Wald χ2, p6.39, 0.09419.36,<0.0012.69, 0.44222.49,<0.00111.85, 0.008
China
Staff rotation−0.0050.051−0.0050.051−0.0160.031−0.0210.0290.0670.0780.0100.011−0.0040.006−0.0730.083
Male0.0090.0500.0100.0510.081**0.0330.083***0.032−0.1100.079−0.0160.0110.0070.0080.1190.082
Round−0.013***0.004−0.013***0.0040.0050.0040.0040.004−0.0070.008−0.0010.0010.000.0010.0070.009
Bribe value−0.0020.006−0.010*0.006
N393393393393393
Pseudo R20.0270.0270.0520.0760.011
Wald χ2, p19.47,<0.00119.57,<0.0018.30, 0.04015.27, 0.0044.06, 0.255

  1. Notes: *: Marginal effect significant at the 10 % level; **: at the 5 % level; ***: at the 1 % level; Standard errors adjusted for 66 clusters at the individual level in (6) – (9) in Germany and 64 clusters in China, in (10) – (13) 64 clusters in Germany and 61 in China; Bribe value: Size of the bribe: 2, 4, 6, or 8 ECU.

Received: 2018-04-25
Revised: 2018-09-07
Accepted: 2019-01-21
Published Online: 2019-03-28
Published in Print: 2020-01-28

© 2020 Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH, Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin/Boston