Intergenerational Transmission of Organizational Corruption: Evidence from the Chicago Police Department
Strategy & Business Policy
Speaker: Derek HARMON
Assistant Professor U.Michigan
This paper investigates how corruption is perpetuated in organizations through intergenerational transmission. Using longitudinal administrative data from the Chicago Police Department, we follow and observe the misconduct of Chicago police officers across their careers, from their initial training through their promotion to manager (i.e., sergeant) to observe how corruption is passed down through generations. We exploit the random assignment of applicants to academy cohorts to demonstrate that managers who were randomly assigned to a corrupt police academy cohort 1) receive more complaints of misconduct over their career, and 2) corrupt their subordinates when they become managers. Mechanism tests suggest that this intergenerational transmission is occurring through social processes (i.e., racial and gender homophily) and incentive structures (i.e., annual reviews). Taken together, our findings reveal the significant but overlooked role managers play in the perpetuation of corruption and provide important policy implications for addressing the problem of police corruption.