The Influence of Wages on Public Officials' Corruptibility: A Laboratory Investigation
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 12-038/1
29 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 13, 2012
Previous studies have proposed a link between corruption and wages in the public sector. This 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, experienced 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.
Keywords: bribery, corruption, experimental economics, laboratory experiment
JEL Classification: D73, C91, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation