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'Corruption as a self-reinforcing ‘Trap’: Implications for Reform Strategy'

Event details of ACLE Seminar with Matthew C. Stephenson (Harvard Law School)
Date 4 April 2019
Time 16:00 -17:15


Corruption is widely believed to be a self-reinforcing phenomenon, in the sense that the incentive to engage in corrupt acts increases as corruption becomes more widespread in the relevant community.
Leading scholars have argued that corruption’s self-fulfilling property implies that incremental anticorruption reforms cannot be effective, and that the only way to escape a high-corruption equilibrium “trap” is through a “big bang” approach.
Matthew Stephenson’s paper demonstrates that this widespread view is mistaken. After surveying the reasons corruption might be self-reinforcing (or in some cases self-limiting), his paper demonstrates that corruption’s self-reinforcing property does not imply the necessity of a “big bang” approach to reform, and indeed may strengthen the case for pursuing sustained, cumulative incremental anticorruption reforms.


Please register before the end of March to:

For more information about our guest have a look at his personal page. The paper is available on Dropbox: Link to paper (users will have to create a free account to gain access).


This seminar will take place from 16:00 to 17:15 at the Amsterdam Law School, 5th floor, room IViR. Drinks will follow.

One-on-one Meeting Request

Click here for a one-to-one meeting with Professor Matthew Stephenson on 4 or 5 April 2019.

About ACLE

The Amsterdam Center for Law and Economics (ACLE) is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Economics and Business and the Faculty of Law at the University of Amsterdam. The objective of the ACLE is to promote high-quality interdisciplinary research at the intersection between law and economics.