Codes of ethics, disciplinary codes, and the effectiveness of anti-corruption frameworks: Evidence from a survey of civil servants in Poland

Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling*, Kim Sass Mikkelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


What is the effect of disciplinary codes and codes of ethics on containing corruption in the civil service? We assess whether both tools are effective and whether they interact to reinforce each other. Using a unique survey of central government civil servants from Poland, we find that, where applied in practice, disciplinary and ethics codes reinforce each other to contain kickbacks as one form of corruption in the civil service. By contrast, disciplinary codes and codes of ethics on their own are not strongly associated with kickbacks in central government ministries. The paper concludes that anti-corruption tools work most effectively when managers have multiple consistently implemented tools at their disposal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020


  • Civil service
  • Codes of ethics
  • Disciplinary codes
  • Anti-corruption frameworks
  • Corruption
  • Eastern Europe

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