Do people lack willpower when they don't stick to their long-term resolutions? In collaboration with researchers from the United Kingdom, Dr. Kevin Grubiak finds in a new study that subjects enjoy the freedom to spontaneously deviate from their resolutions. The results have implications for the assessment of interventions in the spirit of libertarian paternalism, which have so far neglected the intrinsic value of spontaneity.
The study was published in the journal Behavioural Public Policy and can be accessed via the following link: https://doi.org/10.1017/bpp.2021.41
Despite much research on anti-corruption, there are few clear findings suggesting effective action. One reason is that anti-corruption efforts focus primarily on deterrence, punishment and control. This overlooks the fact that public officials and business people form reciprocal relationships and, in some cases, have intrinsic motivation to act responsibly and honestly. A comprehensive, behavioral approach must therefore identify measures that, in addition to deterrence, simultaneously strengthen intrinsic motivation to be responsible and curb reciprocity.
For this project, a novel experimental design is used to study human behavior in the laboratory. Four prominent anti-corruption measures will be tested for their effects: Punishing the granting of advantages, accepting advantages, abuse of office, and nullifying the basic contract.
The added value of the project relative to existing research is that the potentially corrupt relationship is modeled realistically as a gray area between extortion, bribery, and abuse of office, and a public official's intrinsic propensity to act responsibly and propensity to reciprocity are prominent in the design. Thus, the project goes far beyond the current state of research and enables the identification of effective anti-corruption measures.