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Addressing Corruption in an Informal Industry

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Brick Kiln Worker in action

Addressing Corruption in an Informal Industry: Evidence from Brick Kiln Industries in Bangladesh



1.  Determine method of targeting corruption in developing countries.

2.  Understand signaling mechanism by which to reduce corruption.

3.  Understand correlation between profitability, corruption, and environmental impact.



Local public officials/bureaucrats can influence whether or not a firm is allowed to operate.  Informal industries are believed to often make unofficial payments to government authorities to permit their ongoing operation, but the scale and the specifics of these payments are poorly understood. As government officials are responsible for environmental enforcement, these payments risk undermining environmental policies. We have collected detailed information on payments from brick kiln owners to government officials as part of a randomized controlled trial. We will assess how much kiln owners pay and whether any of the interventions to improve environmental performance affect these payments.


Project Dates



Stage of Work

Experiment completed. Data collection ongoing from public officials.  Analysis in progress.



Primary Contact:  Moogdho Mahzab

Stanford University

.   Stephen Luby

.   Nina Brooks

.   Moogdho Mahzab


.   Debashish Biswas


Funding (derivative of other projects)

Stanford Impact Labs

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) King Climate Action Initiative (King-CAI)