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Title: Modelling corruption in small groups : a computational approach
Author: Marchione, Elio
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 5814
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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Corruption is a structural and a moral problem of modern societies. It undermines social development, democracy and people's wealth. The cost of corruption is about $1 trillion per year, and it is often paid by the poorest groups in society. To study corruption is, therefore, not only a scientific challenge but also a necessity in the search for social justice and in the context of improving quality of life. In fighting corruption, policy makers often have to decide whether to shape an intervention based on the individual or on the individual's perception of their environment. Moreover, campaigns against corruption need to be tailored to the social context in which they will be implemented. Policies to be designed to counteract corruption can, therefore, benefit of a tool to differ social settings with respect to corruption. The current literature on corruption lacks a theoretical framework as well as tools for shedding light on the subject matter outlined above. The following research attempts to fill this. Qualitative and quantitative research evidence is used to identify social regularities brought about by corruption and, based on those observations, a set of social mechanisms are put forward. These are then used to design a model and a tool to gather first hand data. Finally, a new set of analytic techniques to grasp the degree to which groups affect individuals' decisions complete the methodology. Moreover, to show the strong empirical link between the model and the data gathering method, a data collection exercise with 16 participants is illustrated. This study proposes a new methodology for understanding how corruption emerges in small groups. More specifically, the extent to which group features affect individuals' decisions as to whether or not to uphold corrupt practices is addressed in the context of limited public resources. The main result of this study is the development of the methodology itself, producing a set of values which are then interpreted to provide a measure of corruption. Such a measure quantifies the extent to which individuals' decisions are affected by their group. This contribution is particularly relevant for policy making, especially when it comes to deciding whether to design initiatives tailored to the individual or to the individuals perception of society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available