The results of our study are rather intriguing. First, we saw that the presence of police, even when it is corrupt, was much better than anarchy. Second, corrupt police managed to enforce the law no worse than honest police, although, of course,citizens incurred significant costs due to wide-spread bribery.
Corruption is one of the “wicked” problems facing many societies. Simple punishment and regulation is often ineffective and more creative, bottom-up approaches to fighting corruption have been proposed. Testing these approaches in the field is next to impossible as it is difficult to find a government able and willing to experiment on its citizens. Social science laboratory experiments provide a way to assess effective tools in the battle against systemic corruption.