Experiment: The Ukrainian Dead-End: Why Voters Like Wrong Decisions of the Authorities

One of the most favorite domains of experimenting economists is the study of corruption and of factors affecting it


The first-ever economic experiment in Ukraine involving real money, meant to explain why the country always takes a wrong turn

“Do not ask what the people want; just keep on watching.”

Economics likes this approach as much as marketing experts do.

Economists are well aware that people are irrational and hardly predictable, and that the results of focus group discussions and surveys are, to put it mildly, inaccurate. Help came from experimental economics – a relatively recent research direction that has been actively developed since the mid-20th century. At first the researchers focused on economic categories, such as market, demand, offers, equilibrium condition, etc. But it was not long before the experimenters entered the territory of lawyers, constructing an economic theory of crime and punishment; the domain of political scientists, working on an effective constitutional design; and many other areas.

One of the most favorite domains of experimenting economists is the study of corruption and of the factors affecting it. Hundreds of experiments have revealed a lot about the nature of corruption and led the researchers to propose effective methods for combating it. For example Barr and Serra’s 2006 experiment busted the myth that people of specific ethnicities are inclined towards corruption. It appeared that the milieu and society’s attitude towards corruption matter a lot more. M.F Castro’s experiment (2010) showed that corrupted control of corrupt officials is worse than total absence of controllers.

VoxUkraine and the Kyiv School of Economics, with support from PACT, have developed a unique experiment specifically for GogolFest. It’s not about corruption in its pure form. We looked further and deeper. We have a hypothesis that explains why voters and officials are entrapped by wrong decisions. It also suggests what must be done to break the chain of errors. (We apologize for the vagueness of the description; but the details of the experiment cannot be disclosed until it has been conducted.)

Would you like to take part in an experiment that may become a landmark in the history of Ukraine? Then come to us on September 18, at 16:00.

Location: UCRAZYANS zone, in front of the park on the territory of the Platform Art Plant.

Entrance to the Experiment: standard procedure for attending GogolFest.

Caution: The organizers do not guarantee that all those coming will participate in the experiment. Participants will be selected in the course of an additional contest that will be held before the experiment.


At last we can share the video of the economic experiment concerning corruption!

Although pilot rehearsals had been producing negative results, visitors to GOGOLFEST showed that Ukrainians are ready for reforms.


Автор не є співробітником, не консультує, не володіє акціями та не отримує фінансування від жодної компанії чи організації, яка б мала користь від цієї статті, а також жодним чином з ними не пов’язаний