Guilt and shame play a role in reducing bribery, according to research by SMU economist Danila Serra.
As an economist who has studied bribery behavior extensively, Serra has discovered that bribery declines if potentially corrupt agents are made aware of the negative effects of corruption, and when victims can share specific information about bribe demands through online reporting systems.
An assistant professor in the SMU Department of Economics, Serra’s research methodology is unique – relying on lab experiments in which players gain and lose real money. Her work is frequently cited by other researchers studying the field of bribery.
In November the directors and officers of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics honored Serra as the inaugural recipient of the $50,000 Vernon L. Smith Ascending Scholar Prize. The Smith Prize is described by the foundation as a “budding genius” award.