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The influence of wages on public officials' corruptibility: a laboratory investigation

[working paper]

Veldhuizen, Roel van

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Corporate Editor Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Abstract Previous studies have proposed a link between corruption and wages in the public sector. The present paper investigates this link using a laboratory experiment. In the experiment, public officials have the opportunity to accept a bribe and can then decide between a neutral and a corrupt action. The corrupt action benefits the briber but poses a large negative externality on a charity. The results show that increasing public officials' wages greatly reduces their corruptibility. In particular, low-wage public officials accept 91% of bribes on average, whereas high-wage public officials accept 38%. Moreover, high-wage public officials are less likely to choose the corrupt option. Additionally, the results suggest that a positive monitoring rate may be necessary for these effects to arise. (author's abstract)
Keywords corruption; laboratory experiment; wage; income effect
Classification Criminal Sociology, Sociology of Law
Free Keywords experimentelle Ökonomie
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
City Berlin
Page/Pages 41 p.
Series Discussion Papers / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Forschungsschwerpunkt Markt und Entscheidung, Abteilung Verhalten auf Märkten, SP II 2013-210
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications