On 20 December, a research article published by Cambridge University Press says that there is growing concern that anti-corruption awareness-raising efforts may be backfiring; instead of encouraging citizens to resist corruption, they may be nudging them to “go with the corrupt grain”. The article, for the American Political Science Review, finds that exposure to anti-corruption messages largely fails to discourage the decision to bribe, and in some cases it makes individuals more willing to pay a bribe. Importantly, it also finds that the effect of anti-corruption messaging is conditioned by an individual’s pre-existing perceptions regarding the prevalence of corruption.
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