Devin Wesenberg

The Effects of Wage Increases on Judicial Corruption

This paper explores the relationship between judicial corruption and judicial wage increases. Specifically, I study whether increases in wage lead to a decrease in judicial corruption. Many scholars focus on public service job performance and wage increases, but little research exists surrounding judicial corruption and wage increases. To test this relationship, I utilized empirical data collected from the judicial conduct boards of each state, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Judicial Salary tracking website and performed a linear regression analysis using salary and corruption complaints as predictors of judicial corruption with number of jurists, state GDP, and conduct board budget as confounding variables. Preliminary results suggest that in general, there is a strong positive relationship between judicial corruption and salary increases. As judicial salaries increase, the amount of judicial corruption allegations tend to decrease. In addition, the impact of the confounding variables on the number of judicial complaints has yet to be determined. These results provide the important insight that salary increases are an effective way to minimize unproductive work behaviors. Future research could explore how other variables such as cost of living, first year law associate salary, and number of corruption prosecutions per state influence judicial corruption.