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Bribing to Queue-Jump: An experiment on cultural differences in bribing attitudes among Greeks and Germans

Drichoutis, Andreas C. and Grimm, Veronika and Karakostas, Alexandros (2020): Bribing to Queue-Jump: An experiment on cultural differences in bribing attitudes among Greeks and Germans.

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Abstract

We study the role of culture on bribing attitudes in a new dynamic bribery game, where the purpose of bribing is to receive a service earlier by bribing to queue-jump. Our queue-jumping game allows us to distinguish between two classes of bribes: (i) queue-jumping bribes, which aim to increase the briber's expected earnings by jumping the queue, and (ii) counter bribes, which aim to maintain the briber's expected earnings by upholding the current order in the queue. In a laboratory experiment, comprised of four treatments that differ in the number of Greeks and Germans in each group, we analyze both cross-cultural and inter-cultural differences in bribing attitudes. In our cross-cultural treatments, we find that Greeks tend to bribe more often than Germans, but only in the early periods of the game. As time progresses, the Germans quickly catch-up, bribing as often as the Greeks. However, the observed differences in bribe rates in the early periods of the game are driven by queue-jumping bribes rather than counter-bribes. As the ratio of counter-bribes to queue-jumping bribes is significantly lower among Greeks relative to Germans, bribing to queue-jump is more profitable in the Greek groups. In our inter-cultural treatments, we find that minorities, irrespective of nationality, bribe less, despite there are no prospects for monetary or reputational gains. We interpret this result as evidence of outgroup favoritism by minority groups.

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