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Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service: Evidence from India

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  • Rema Hanna
  • Shing-Yi Wang

Abstract

Students in India who cheat on a simple laboratory task are more likely to prefer public sector jobs. This paper shows that cheating on this task predicts corrupt behavior by civil servants, implying that it is a meaningful predictor of future corruption. Students who demonstrate pro-social preferences are less likely to prefer government jobs, while outcomes on an explicit game and attitudinal measures to measure corruption do not systematically predict job preferences. A screening process that chooses high-ability applicants would not alter the average propensity for corruption. The findings imply that differential selection into government may contribute, in part, to corruption.

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  • Rema Hanna & Shing-Yi Wang, 2017. "Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service: Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 262-290, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:262-90 Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150029
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Dur & Max van Lent, 2016. "Serving the Public Interest in Several Ways: Theory and Empirics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-109/VII, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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