Information and Extortion: Empowering Citizens to Reduce Corruption

Set in the context of property tax collection, this project examines to what extent citizens can avoid extortion and bribe payment when armed with information about a transaction with a public official. Before tax collection, households receive either a control flier announcing the campaign or a treatment flier containing (i) additional information about the price of the tax, and (ii) a picture of the type of printed receipt that are considered valid by the government. If collectors ask for a higher price, or if they try to issue a handwritten receipt, citizens may be empowered to demand that a legitimate transaction takes place. This citizen-side information treatment will be compared to a standard top-down government audit treatment