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Controlling Corruption

Controlling Corruption

Robert Klitgaard
Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 230
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  • Book Info
    Controlling Corruption
    Book Description:

    Corruption is increasingly recognized as a preeminent problem in the developing world. Bribery, extortion, fraud, kickbacks, and collusion have resulted in retarded economies, predator elites, and political instability. In this lively and absorbing book, Robert Klitgaard provides a framework for designing anti-corruption policies, and describes through five case studies how courageous policymakers were able to control corruption.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-91118-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface to the Paperback Edition
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    Robert Klitgaard
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    What worries me more than anything amoung our problems,” said Nigerian President Shehu Shagari in 1982, “is that of moral decadence in our country. There is the problem of bribery, corruption, lack of dedication to duty, dishonesty, and all such vices.”

    He was right to worry. About a year later his civilian government was toppled in a military coup, which the generals justified by the need to control corruption. This topic dominated the new regime’s policies, as foretold in its first press conference in early 1984: “It is necessary to reiterate that this new Administration will not tolerate fraud, corruption,...

  5. 2 Objectives
    (pp. 13-51)

    Where should an anticorruption campaign begin and how far should it go? In this chapter we will use a case study and a review of the social scientific literature to help us think about the objectives of anticorruption policies. We will put ourselves in the position of a newly named leader of a remarkably corrupt organization and watch how he assessed its problems and defined his objectives. We will also take an abstract economic look at corruption and argue that the optimal amount of corruption is not zero. We will then examine what social scientists have said about the costs...

  6. 3 Policy Measures
    (pp. 52-97)

    What policies should be considered as part of an anticorruption effort? In this chapter we continue with our Philippine case study and examine Justice Plana’s masterful campaign to clean up the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Then we turn to more general analyses of the causes and cures for corruption. Various authors have emphasized cultural variables and economic structures (too much capitalism, too little capitalism). We will take a complementary tack, developing a principal-agent-client model based on microeconomic ideas of incentives and information. We enrich the simplest model with considerations of organizational structure and individual attitudes. From this we derive a...

  7. 4 Graft Busters: When and How to Set Up an Anticorruption Agency
    (pp. 98-121)

    During the past two decades increasing numbers of developing countries have set up new organizations with the specialized mission of rooting out corruption. Under what circumstances does this step make sense? What safeguards should exist to prevent the abuse of such powers? How should such an agency be set up, and what can it do to control competition in government?

    This chapter examines the most famous and powerful anticorruption agency in the developing world, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). We look at why and how the ICAC was set up, and how it achieved success in cleaning up...

  8. 5 Combining Internal and External Policies
    (pp. 122-133)

    A strong external agency like the ICAC is not sufficient to rid a government of corruption. Internal measures are needed as well. The case of Singapore’s Customs and Excise Department is an apt illustration.

    In the 1950s, corruption was widespread in Singapore. The Customs and Excise Department was one well-known site. Clearing customs routinely involved tipping. Large-scale imports often required large-scale bribes. On many occasions illegal goods were brought into the country under the friendly noses of corrupt inspectors.

    The situation today is much different. Singapore is widely recognized as a squeaky clean government with very little corruption. By Western...

  9. 6 Corruption When Cultures Clash
    (pp. 134-155)

    Sometimes corruption cuts across national boundaries. Foreign firms bribe local officials or are extorted by local officials or both. One government uses illicit tricks to obtain the compliance of another. Indeed political scientist Hans Morganthau once characterized foreign aid as little more than a transnational bribe.

    When the principal is from one culture and the agent from another, new problems arise. The principal may lack the power to select or penalize errant agents from another land. Information may be even more difficult to collect and interpret. Attitudes about corruption and its “moral costs” may not coincide. And if one party...

  10. 7 Implementation Strategies
    (pp. 156-189)

    Recent studies have investigated the extent to which patients follow the advice and prescriptions given to them by physicians. The answers have been remarkable. Even victims of heart attacks seldom did what their doctors advised. Fewer than 20 percent kept to their prescriptions. Given this phenomenon, what should doctors do?

    One response is as follows: “I’m a doctor. My job is to diagnose the illness and tell the patient what to do if he or she wants to get rid of the illness. If the patient doesn’t want to, well, that goes beyond medicine.”

    But a more sophisticated, and difficult,...

  11. 8 Reviewing and Extending
    (pp. 190-210)

    Two of several definitions ofcorruptioninWebster’s New Collegiate Dictionaryare “inducement to wrong by bribery or other unlawful or improper means” and “impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle.” We have been focusing on the first definition, exploring the sources and effects of, and some possible remedies for, “bribery and other. . . means.” But the moral aspect is what leaps to many minds when corruption is discussed. Because a bribe is more than an inducement and involves integrity and virtue, discussions of policy here are more problematic than, say, for policies regarding interest rates, fisheries, or food...

  12. Index
    (pp. 211-221)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 222-222)