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

  • van Veldhuizen, Roel
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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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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/86142/1/770683754.pdf
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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior with number SP II 2013-210.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013210
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