Bigger Salary, Bigger Bribe

By Matthew Richardson

91% of Ghanaians believe that the police are corrupt – higher than the percentage for politicians. That’s really saying something. But what’s most surprising is that new research shows that when the salaries of Ghanaian cops were raised, so were the bribes they demanded. The long-standing theory that petty corruption is a response to under-resourcing of enforcement officers looks much weaker in the face of results like this. For those interested in the public policy tools available for anti-corruption, appealing to the better nature of crooked cops by providing a living wage may not be the panacea so many expected.