The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper develops and tests two efficiency wage models of corruption in the civil service. Under fair wage models, civil service wages are an important determinant of corruption. Under shirking models, the level of wages is of secondary importance, as potential bribes dwarf wage income. The empirical evidence points to a negative relationship between corruption and wages across developing countries. Tests as to the validity of the two different efficiency wage models are inconclusive.