Researchers suggest that if government jobs are seen as corrupt
, those who are honest might not want them. Those who cheat at simple tasks are more likely to want to work in government, research suggests.
Researchers at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania in the US set small challenges for more than 600 students to see whether they performed honestly in them.
In one, students had to throw a dice unobserved and report what number they rolled. The higher the number, the more they would be paid.
Cheating among the students seemed to be rampant
as an improbably large proportion
of them reported rolling high numbers.
The students who appeared to have cheated were 6.3% more likely to say they wanted to work in government, the researchers found.
In another task, students were asked to divide up a sum of rupees
between themselves and a charity of their choice. For each rupee they donated, the sum given to the charity would double.
Those who held on to more of the rupees for themselves were again more likely to want to want to work in government jobs, the study found.
Rema Hanna, an associate professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and co-author Shing-yi Wang, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, wrote: “Overall, we find that dishonest individuals - as measured by the dice task - prefer to enter government service.
来自哈佛大学肯尼迪政府管理学院的副教授Rema Hanna和来自宾夕法尼亚大学沃顿商学院的副教授Shing-yi Wang为调查结果写道，“我们发现，通过仍骰子游戏来判断出的不诚实学生，更倾向于去政府工作。”
“Importantly, we show that cheating on this task is also predictive
behaviours by real government officials.”