Amadou Boly of United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) and Olivier Armantier of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York both work for Public Institutions. Yes, I know that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is not technically a public institution but according to its own website The Fed, as the system is commonly called, is an independent governmental entity created by Congress in 1913 to serve as the central bank of the United States. (http://www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/whatwedo.html).

In short, by any moral standard they are paid for by the people and work for the people. They have written what to me anyway is an apparently interesting paper:

A Controlled Field Experiment on Corruption

Abstract: This paper reports on a controlled field experiment on corruption designed to address two important issues: the experimenters scrutiny and the unobservability of corruption. In the
experiment, a grader is offered a bribe along with a demand for a better grade. We find that graders respond more favorably to bigger bribes, while the effect of higher wages is ambiguous: it lowers the bribes acceptance, but it fosters reciprocation. Monitoring and punishment can deter corruption, but we cannot reject that it may also crowd-out intrinsic motivations for honesty when intensified. Finally, our results suggest several micro-determinants of corruption including age, ability, religiosity, but not gender.

The paper is appealing to me. Since I have lived overseas in countries that are considered corrupt I have been paying more attention to public corruption and how it works. As an aside: The
most thrilling book on public corruption is Its Our Turn to Eat By Michela Wrong (http://www.amazon.com/Its-Our-Turn-Eat-Whistle-Blower/dp/0061346594).

The abstract itself is not all that interesting, for example it is not surprising at all that the larger the offered bribe the more likely that it will be accepted and that higher wages lower acceptance. The last sentence is intriguing in that age, ability, religiosity apparently affect acceptance.

Great, so lets read the paper. Heres the link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2466849. Not available for download. What? Ok, lets google the title: All roads
lead to here: http://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eecrev/v55y2011i8p1072-1082.html

So lets recap: Two people getting paid for an receiving benefits from public institutions have written a paper that is arguably important for public policy: And they are charging $35.95 to read it.

Oh, The Irony.