Passauer Diskussionspapiere: Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-41-05
Corrupt arrangements are characterized by a high risk of opportunism. Moreover, denunciation and extortion add another layer of uncertainty for participants in corrupt transactions. This paper demonstrates how legislators can use an asymmetric design of criminal sanctions to amplify these inherent risks, thereby destabilizing corrupt arrangements. It is also shown that asymmetric penalties do not necessarily interfere with the goal of deterrence and that immunity may be a useful tool to disband the pact of silence characteristic of corrupt arrangements.