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Episode Info:

This episode of KickBack features Oguzhan “Oz” Dincer, who is an Associate Professor of Economics and the Director of the Institute for Corruption Studies at the Illinois State University. Listen to how the famous research on the so-called fair wage hypothesis (Akerlof & Yellen, 1990; Soraperra et al.,) triggered Oz’s interest in corruption. Measurement of Corruption The interview covers Oz’s research on economics of corruption – focusing on the thorny challenge to measure corruption; how and when the national newspapers can serve as an indicator for national level of corruption. Oz describes his work on developing measures of legal and illegal corruption across U.S. states. You might wonder “what is legal corruption?”, Oz provides his working definition of “how much the actions of the legislature is influenced by the campaign finance”. The discussion covers pros and cons of the World Bank data on corruption, and the difficulty to assess corruption via surveys Political Culture of Corruption The two discuss the old question how culture shapes corruption. Oz outlines the cultural differences across the USA, mentioning research by Daniel A. Lazar who classifies political culture by categorizing who settled where. According to this method three main cultures exist in the USA: moralistic, individualistic, traditionalistic cultures. Oz research has tested whether the assumption that moralistic cultures care more about the collective good and are hence less corrupt is indeed true. A short history of Corruption in Turkey How the corruption in Turkey changed from minor forms of petty corruption became more frequent and was increasingly accompanied by grand forms of corruption after military take-over in the 1980’s. How government cuts on public salaries has increased corruption, how it has contributed to a reduction in democratic standards and eventually leading to a sense of hopelessness. Key References for the podcast: Akerlof, G. A., & Yellen, J. L. (1990). The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 105(2), 255. http://doi.org/10.2307/2937787 --> Classical work on fair wage hypothesis that inspired Oz to research corruption Soraperra, I., Köbis, N. C., Efferson, C., Vogt, S., Offerman, T., & Shalvi, S. (2019). A market for integrity An experiment on corruption in the education sector (CREED Working Papers). Amsterdam, Netherlands. Available via: http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.26059.44321 --> More recent work on the subject whether higher wages lead to lower levels of corruption. Dincer, O. C. (2008). Ethnic and religious diversity and corruption. Economics Letters, 99(1), 98-102. --> Oz’s work on how ethnic and religious diversity relate to corruption

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