Behavioral economics of corruption and its implications

Vol. 41 No. 1 (2021)

Jan-Mar / 2021
Published February 9, 2021

How to Cite

Muramatsu, Roberta, and Ana Maria A. F. Bianchi. 2021. “Behavioral Economics of Corruption and Its Implications”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 41 (1):100-116.

Behavioral economics of corruption and its implications

Roberta Muramatsu
Adjunct Professor of Economics and Researcher of Mackenzie Center for Economic Freedom, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, São Paulo/SP,
Ana Maria A. F. Bianchi
Full Professor of the School of Economics, Business and Accounting of the University of São Paulo – USP, São Paulo/SP, Brazil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 41 No. 1 (2021), Jan-Mar / 2021, Pages 100-116


This paper holds that the standard economic accounts of corruption based on expected costs and benefits are insufficient to understand and to tackle dishonesty in the real world. It embarks on a survey of the literature to discuss the major roles automatic judgments and decisions, as well as cognitive biases and social preferences might play in deviations from honest behavior. The paper further discusses the implications of behavioral economics to the debate over how to fight corruption and foster integrity.

JEL Classification: B40; B41; D90; D91.

Keywords: Behavioral economics corruption methodology experiments policy