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Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service: Evidence from India

Listed author(s):
  • Rema Hanna
  • Shing-Yi Wang

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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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 9 (2017)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 262-290

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:262-90
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150029
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-policy
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