Does Economics Make Citizens Corrupt?
Posted: 22 Sep 2001
In this paper, we report on an experiment on corruption which investigates various determinants of corruptibility. We found that economics students are significantly more corrupt than others, which is due to self-selection rather than indoctrination. Moreover, our results vary with gender --- male students of economics are most corrupt, male non-economists the least. Also, agents are no less corrupt if rewarded in addition to, and independently of a possible bribe. Our experiment isolates the influence of self-interest on cooperation from other influences such as risk attitude and expectations regarding the behavior of others.
Keyword(s): Corruption; Experimental economics; Principal-agent; Economists versus non-economists
JEL Classification: C91, D82
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