The New Institutional Economics of Corruption

The New Institutional Economics of Corruption

The New Institutional Economics of Corruption

The New Institutional Economics of Corruption

Synopsis

A thorough analysis of the phenomenon of corruption, this book approaches the subject from the perspective of New Institutional Economics and New Economic Sociology.

Excerpt

Corruption has emerged high on the agenda of multinational development agencies, private firms and policy-makers. This increased interest in the phenomenon of corruption has produced a multitude of policy prescriptions, reform initiatives and conferences. the world is not short of ideas on how to tackle corruption. While good intentions abound we currently know little about their likely success. Being short of empirical evidence and profound experience, there is not even a theory available that allows us to put the various approaches into comparative perspective. How should bureaucrats be punished? How should administrative procedures be reformed? How far should parliamentarians be accountable to the public? What piece of information should be made publicly available? Is transparency always helpful? Is it possible to reward honesty? Can corruption be effectively fought by focusing on technical and organizational issues? What should be the role assigned to civil society? How far can we expect bureaucrats to follow their narrow self-interest as opposed to ethical considerations? How many resources should we spend for improving the judiciary? How should we deal with whistleblowers?

While there are numerous questions that are crucial to anti-corruption, mostly a holistic approach is suggested. This is due to the fact that corruption in one sector breeds malfeasance in another. Anti-corruption therefore is similar to destroying the Gordian knot; piecemeal approaches appear futile. However convincing such a holistic approach may appear, it does not clearly provide direction to reform. It alerts the public that much has to be done, without suggesting preferences. We need more theoretical inspiration that is able to better direct our energies in the fight against corruption. a consistent economic theory may provide valuable insights, but the task is too complex to rely on a single theoretical tradition. If we want to generate sound policy advice, only an inter-disciplinary approach is likely to be successful. This is what this book is about.

We must understand the link between norms, trusts and the precise mechanisms by which corrupt relationships are established. a theoretical approach that links the corrupt exchange of goods and services with the

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