Researchers from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania tested the honesty of more than 600 students in Bangalore, India, and their results won’t surprise anyone with a bitter view of corruption: Students who cheated were more likely to want government jobs.
The study hints that a driving force behind government corruption, which has led to multiple scandals in India, could be that government work attracts corrupt people in the first place.
“If people have the view that jobs in government are corrupt, people who are honest might not want to get into that system,” Harvard professor Rema Hanna told the Los Angeles Times.
For instance, students who cheated in a game that involved rolling dice were 6.3 percent more likely to want government jobs, researchers found. An even more troubling finding for government employers is that asking students about corruption didn’t predict their behavior in real life, which means that asking those questions in a job interview, as some governments do, isn’t going to help much.