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Reyes Calderón, Writer and Dean of the School of Economics at the University of Navarra

Propensity for honesty

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:50:00 +0000 Published in La Razón

Ee are processing the data of a multicultural experiment conducted among university students from various continents and educational levels, with age average of 20 years. The intention was to obtain information on corruptibility and its inverse, biographical clues (individual and group values) that would allow us to identify what the propensity to honesty among young people depends on. The topic is interesting not only because young people are the future, but also because corruption is a cancer for countries and companies. Corrupt countries, sooner or later, see foreign investment and growth decline; reduce government revenues, forced to burden honest citizens more; narrow social equity and, in short, increase poverty. On business, there is no need to point out the importance of reputation and respect for the law and one's word. The reason for resorting to this analysis is obvious: the phenomenon of corruption is opaque and difficult to observe. The work is dense. Synthetically, we tried to find out whether the young person distinguished between offering a bribe or being bribed; whether the clarity of the offer (of the language) affected or not, and what types of values made them reject these illicit actions. To do this, we made the anonymous participant choose between two risky activities: a licit lottery and a corrupt offer (which is still a lottery, with a probability of failure and jail). Some of the results obtained are in line with the literature. I cite two. The first is that the propensity of men to get involved in corrupt affairs is much higher than that of women, and that the lower rate of female corruptibility is especially significant when it comes to offering bribes. Second, that people are more likely to be bribed than to pay bribes. Being a passive subject reduces the emotional burden of the illicit act and lessens its moral costs in the event of detection by friends, neighbors, etc. Other findings are novel. In absolute terms, those with higher incomes are more likely to engage in risky activities; in relative terms, the effect fades away. In any case, it is obvious that corruption does not seem to be a thing of the poor, but rather of the rich or people of class average who are not very risk averse. It sounds like Finally, I will emphasize language. How a bribe is offered is signifi cantly related to the acceptance of the bribe by candidate. This is why we must demand from politicians, civil servants and other public servants "a level of transparency that is not only informative but also informative". Even if the monkey is dressed in silk "We must require the servers public a high level of transparency informative and informative".