Does the relationship between personal value priorities and whitecollar offending vary by differing levels of corruption?: Findings from the European Social Survey
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
This paper investigates the relationships between basic human values and three whitecollar crimes – tax evasion, insurance fraud and bribery – in 24 European countries. Do these relationships differ between countries and can such variation be explained by differing levels of corruption at the national level? 24 European countries are analyzed using data from the second round of the European Social Survey. Personal value priorities have previously been found to be relevant predictors of white-collar crime in a pooled sample of 14 European countries (Goossen, Johansson Sevä and Larsson, in press). This study builds naturally on these findings by comparing results across countries while accounting for different levels of corruption. Drawing upon previous findings generated by the white-collar crime and corruption literature as well as Schwartz’s (1992) value theory, three main of hypotheses were formulated. The hypotheses were subjected to testing utilizing a battery of multilevel logistic regression models. Results reveal that all Schwartz higher order values (‘openness’, ‘conservation’, ‘self-enhancement’ and ‘self-transcendence’) are highly relevant in predicting risk of individual white-collar offending in the pooled sample for most crimes. Results for cross-level interaction between values and different levels of corruption reveal that corruption does not moderate the individual-level relationship between ‘openness’ and ‘conservation’ values and crime risk. With ‘self-enhancement’ and ‘self-transcendence’ values corruption significantly moderates the relationship slopes between values and tax evasion, but not for bribery or insurance fraud. The significant cross-level interactions display a curve-linear pattern where middling levels of corruption moderate the relationships between ‘self-enhancement’ and ‘self-transcendence’ values and tax evasion, while countries with the highest and lowest levels of corruption are remarkably similar in terms of value-crime relationships. Conclusively, individuals’ value priorities are very robust predictors of most white-collar offending and these relationships are largely unaffected by contextual circumstances such as national levels of corruption. Results are discussed and suggestions for future research are made
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 52 p.
White-collar crime, tax evasion, insurance fraud, bribery, corruption, values, basic human values, multilevel, comparative, Schwartz, European Social Survey.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-121119OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-121119DiVA: diva2:931094