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The influence of wages on public officials’ corruptibility: A laboratory investigation

  • van Veldhuizen, R.
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    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.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 341-356

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:39:y:2013:i:c:p:341-356
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