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A Formal Model of Corruption, Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service

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Recent empirical studies have found that in high corruption countries, inherently more
dishonest individuals are more likely to want to enter into public service, while the reverse
is true in low corruption countries. In this note, we provide a simple formal model that
rationalizes this empirical pattern as the result of countries being stuck in different selfsustaining
equilibria where high levels of corruption and negative selection into public
service are mutually reinforcing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2015

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