Is transparency an effective anti-corruption strategy? Evidence from a field experiment in India
Article first published online: 23 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Regulation & Governance
Volume 4, Issue 3, pages 261–280, September 2010
How to Cite
Peisakhin, L. and Pinto, P. (2010), Is transparency an effective anti-corruption strategy? Evidence from a field experiment in India. Regulation & Governance, 4: 261–280. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5991.2010.01081.x
- Issue published online: 23 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 23 SEP 2010
- Accepted for publication 13 July 2010.
- field experiment;
- freedom of information;
- public goods;
Can freedom of information laws be harnessed by underprivileged members of society and used to obtain greater access to basic public goods that are otherwise attainable only through bribery? Drawing on a field experiment on access to ration cards among New Delhi's slum dwellers, we demonstrate that India's recently adopted freedom of information law is almost as effective as bribery in helping the poor to secure access to a basic public service. We find support for the theoretical proposition that greater transparency and voice lowers corruption even in highly hierarchical and unequal societies.